Model Totem Pole

MOA: University of British Columbia


Model pole with a thunderbird on top and a masked human at the base. The bird on top has wings pointing upward, in black, red and green; a large yellow beak and feet; two small vertical black ears, green around its eyes and a red mouth. The human at the base is in a kneeling position and has bear claw hands in black outline, a red-brown body, a mask-like face with bright green across the eyes, red on the nose and mouth, and black painted hair on top. The middle section is rounded and painted in two shades of green. The pole is attached to an unpainted, square wooden base, with nail heads showing on the bottom. Artist name and date written on the back of the bird, in black, under the wings.

  • Narrative

    The carved sequence on this model pole is referred to as Ellen Neel's "Totemland" design.

  • Type of Item totem pole
  • Culture Kwakwaka'wakw
  • Material wood, paint, metal
  • Measurements height 43.5 cm, width 19.5 cm, depth 17.0 cm (overall)

  • Creator Ellen Neel
  • Previous Owner Gary R. Bell
  • Received from Gary R. Bell

  • Made in British Columbia

  • Creation Date during 1959
  • Ownership Date before October 26, 2023
  • Acquisition Date on October 26, 2023

  • Condition good
  • Accession Number 3648/0001