A seminal work on the Northwest Coast totem pole by two of the most renowned anthropologists in their field.
Totem poles are probably the best-known symbol of First Nations art. Highly regarded anthropologists Aldona Jonaitis and Aaron Glass reconstruct the history of totem poles, analyze their functions in different contexts and highlight the ways in which they have been appropriated—spreading from the Northwest Coast to World’s Fairs—and how they play an integral part in Aboriginal peoples’ struggles for control of their own culture and lands.
Solidly researched, engagingly written and generously illustrated, The Totem Pole is an insightful look at the impact of this beautiful art form on Aboriginal peoples and on our society as a whole. It includes short essays by well-known artists and scholars, including Nathan Jackson, Robert Davidson, Susan Point, Richard Hunt, Lyle Wilson, Bill Holm, Robin Wright, Vickie Jensen, Charlotte Townsend-Gault and Andrea Laforet, that illustrate the relationships between people and totem poles.
Aldona Jonaitis is the director of the Museum of the North and professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Previously, Jonaitis served as vice-president for public programs at the American Museum of Natural History. Her seminal books include Art of the Northwest Coast, Chiefly Feasts, The Yuquot Whalers’ Shrine and From the Land of the Totem Poles.
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