Definitions for "Totem pole"
Keywords:  carved, pillar, northwest, tribe, coast
A pole or pillar, carved and painted with a series of totemic symbols, set up before the house of certain Indian tribes of the northwest coast of North America, esp. Indians of the Koluschan stock.
While many thing of the Totem Pole as a symbol of native people & their cultury, their production was limited to six tribes in British Columbia and southeastern Alaska. Tribes which carved Totem Poles: Bella Coola Haida Kwakiutl Tlingit Tsimshian West Coast Pole carving flourished in the 19th century, to tell stories or commemorate historical events. Each tribe had its own distinctive style. The figures carved weren't gods or demons, but symbolic, like the figures in European Heraldry. Totem Poles were not worshipped, but the stories they told often inspired respect or veneration.
a pole carved and painted with representations of totems, erected by natives of the northwest coast, especially in front of their houses.
When you make a fist then stick your arm all the way up someone's ass. They'll tighten their ass muscles and break the bones in your arm. - Jill, Julie, and Evan, Massachusetts
a good example of how living, dynamic culture undergoes such a process of semiosis when it is displayed within the Museum as institution