Tag Archives: Native and Tribal

article: Totem Poles


Totem Poles

Totem poles are towering sculptures carved from trees by a number of Native American peoples along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. They display mythological images, usually animal spirits. The poles

Totem poles in front of houses in Alert Bay, B...

Totem poles in front of houses in Alert Bay, British Columbia in the 1900s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

are erected to identify the owner of a house or other property, welcome visitors, indicate a portal or passageway, mark a gravesite, and even to ridicule an important person who failed in some way. Why was this last type of pole—a “shame pole”—erected in Cordova, Alaska, in 2007? More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: THE DEATH WAIL


The Death Wail

The death wail is a cry of mourning performed ritually in response to the death of a loved one. Though found in numerous cultures, it is closely associated with Australian Aboriginal peoples. Some accounts of the death wail describe its presence in conjunction with fighting and disputes. For instance, Edward Eyre, a British colonial administrator in 19th-century Australia, documented its usage between members of two rival tribes. Where can you listen to an 1898 recording of a death wail? More… Discuss

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