Falsehoods about



Keywords: falsehoods about
Description: -The totem poles in the popular viewing area in Stanley Park, Vancouver BC, are fakes. (They are real, very valuable, and if they have been replaced, are authorized replacements of the original

-The totem poles in the popular viewing area in Stanley Park, Vancouver BC, are fakes. (They are real, very valuable, and if they have been replaced, are authorized replacements of the original poles.)

-A slave was once buried at the base of a totem. (Totems have been dug up to verify this, it is not true! Once they did find a U.S. silver dollar buried at the base. Hardly the same thing. )

-Ancient, weird totemic traditions were once practiced. (Totem pole practices are quite logical and have evolved mostly over the last 200 years since metal tools made totem making easier. Claims of bizarre, magical "totemism" practices are fabricated fiction.)

-Totem pole building today is a vanishing legacy. (Today, authentic native totem pole carving thrives in southeastern Alaska & British Columbia; however, it is true that for about 40 years between 1910 and 1950 only a few true totem poles were built and raised.)

-Decaying totem poles are thousands of years old. (In reality, most totem poles, though made of decay resistant cedar, fall over in about 100 years; the oldest ones in Ninstints, BC date from about the 1840s and 1850s.)

-Painted poles are fakes. (Some poles are painted, some are not. The choice is the carvers to make.)

-Totem poles are solemn and always very serious. (Actually, there are several jokes woven into totem poles such as figures "accidentally" carved upside down, or a little figures winking, grinning and peeking out of Bear's ear or out of Whale's blowhole. Tricks have occasionally been played on the pole's sponsor. If the person paying for the pole annoys the carvers too much, he might be portrayed on the pole, - a little too embarrassingly naked. A little touch of carved-in amusement, here and there, is a valid part of the tradition.)

-No other aboriginal people make real totem poles. (New Zealand's Maori people construct a form of totem to commemorate their ancestors and the Ainu people from Hakkaido in northern Japan build totem pole-like clusters of tree trunks as "playgrounds" for their gods. "Is there any relation between these people and the Natives of the Northwest Pacific Coast?" is the more interesting, unanswered question.)






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