Crest Pole Figure Model

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Specimen Count
3
FROM CARD: "INDIAN TRADITION SAYS THIS BIRD BROUGHT THEIR ANCESTORS OVER FROM ASIA. REDUCED COPY OF COLOSSAL CARVING. COLLECTOR'S DESCRIPTION ON REVERSE. COLLECTOR'S DESCRIPTION AND LEGEND: "HAIDA INDIANS, FORT SIMPSON B. C. AND TONGASS, ALAS. REDUCED COPY OF COLOSSAL CARVING ON POLE AT FT. SIMPSON, B. C. THE INDIAN TRADITION IS THAT THIS WAS THE SACRED BIRD WHICH BROUGHT OVER THEIR ANCESTORS FROM ASIA. IMAGES OF WHICH ARE SEEN UNDER EACH WING. COPIES OF THIS SACRED BIRD ARE FOUND IN VARIOUS FORM ALL THROUGH ALASKA. V. COLYER."
This object is on loan to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, from 2010 through 2022.
Source of the information below: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge website, by Aron Crowell, entry on this artifact http://alaska.si.edu/record.asp?id=510, retrieved 4-24-2012: 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, 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.
Record Last Modified
25 Jul 2018
Topic
Ethnology
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
Donor Name
Vincent Colyer
Collector
Vincent Colyer
Length
39cm
See more items in
Anthropology
Place
Fort Simpson, British Columbia, Canada, North America
Accession Date
1872
Object Type
Totem Pole Model
Accession Number
002478
USNM Number
E11374-0
Culture
Haida
Tsimshian