Totem Poles of the Northwest

D. Allen, Totem Poles of the Northwest (Surrey, B.C., Canada: Hancock House Publishers, 1977

Allen - Totem Poles of the Northwest
Well-illustrated with many photographs, this small book explores the totem poles of Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. Included in the discussion are the meanings of the carvings, the stories that the poles tell and different kinds of carvings from crests to memorial poles to mortuary poles, house poles and other cedar carvings. The book also provides a brief introduction to the tribes of the Northwest. The map of tribal territories inside the front cover was worth the price of the book for me, as I am just learning of the indigenous people of the region. We did some studying and reading of legends and stories in 2006, when we took a sabbatical, spending part of our time in British Columbia, but we did not discover this book at that time. It was a good volume to accompany our travels in Washington state this year.

There really isn’t much text in the book, just captions for the pictures, but the pictures give good detail and provide a guide for the totem poles we saw in our travels.