Totem Poles are created by many of the North American native tribes, and are usually situated close to the homes of prominent families. They often serve the purpose of telling a visual family history through symbolism, shape, markings and colour. They possess a striking visual presence and people of all cultures and background can respond very strongly to them.
I often use totem poles as a prompt for educational and therapeutic activity. They can provide great insight into the ways of an ancient but still active culture.As a discussion point, they seldom fail to get people talking about what the various symbols might mean. When people are given the opportunity to create their own totem pole, they often create highly distinct, powerful, intriguing artefacts.
The following pieces were made from air dry clay and painted in tempera.