Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
Related Media
Related Objects
 

Crest pole figure (model)

This carving of a thunderbird carrying human beings beneath its wings was copied from a totem pole that stood in front of a Tsimshian or Haida clan house at Port Simpson, British Columbia during the mid-19th century. Vincent Colyer, an artist and Board of Indian commissioner who purchased this model of the pole in 1872, wrote on a paper tag still affixed to the back that, “Indian tradition is that this was the sacred bird which brought over their ancestors from Asia.” This interpretation has not been verified and the story of the image in clan history has yet to be recorded.

Culture: Tsimshian
Region: British Columbia, Canada
Village: Port Simpson
Object Category: Homes
Dimensions: Length 39cm
Accession Date: 1872
Source: Vincent Colyer (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E011374