Transcript - Wide Base Pole, Ank’idaa

Pts’aanhl Kw’ax̱suu tguna, a memorial pole of Kw’ax̱suu. And you could see the difference in this pole even if it is carved by a certain person that carved the Bear’s Den pole. The appearance is different. The figures are looking down on this side. Indicates that it is a memorial pole. Underneath the bottom figure is bear cub. The ears are missing. It’s on the belly of the Bear Mother. The grizzly bear has a coho salmon in his mouth. In his ears two figures with bent knees, right inside the ears.

Moving a little farther up, right in between the grizzly bears, is the two cubs, one above each other. Faces on the paws represent People of the Smoke-Hole, gadim alax.

Further up is a wolf holding a grizzly bear copper. It’s carved separately and then attached. Between the grizzly bear’s ears is a Split Person, baxhl gaythl.

Above the wolf is a bent box commemorating Sim’oogit Hlabikskw. Sim’oogit Hlabikskw was apparently watching the family at one time, Kw’ax̱suu’s family. He was one of those that got killed in the Ts’imsan war. So that’s when they commemorate him for his bravery.

Above that is the Prince of Wolves. Gibuu. He was a young person when supposed to be great chief. They already identify a child to be the chief in those days. But he didn’t survive – he died – so they commemorate him on the pole. Kw’ax̱suu was attacked by a grizzly. He was with his grandson at that time. He was injured really bad and cut bad. So weak losing his blood when the grizzly left him. So his grandson got some water and make him drink some water and carried him down to the canoe and take him home. So when he got him home and all of his nephews and his relatives. When the grizzly attacks a human, make the human bleed and also the human make the grizzly bleed. The grizzly spirit goes into a human and they get sick. They have a hard time getting cured, so the only way they can survive is for them to go out and kill the grizzly.

So that’s what Kw’ax̱suu’s nephews and relatives [did]. They all went out to look for the grizzly. When they found that grizzly, they pushed the grizzly out from the mountain all the way out to the beach. Kitsault in the inlet, big boulders around the beach. So they pushed the grizzly out. And when they got the grizzly all the way out to the beach and the grizzly jumped on the big boulder and put his nose down on the rocks, it was saying that he gives up. That’s where they killed him. That’s why they use grizzly as one of their emblems, one of their crests. They do a lot. They skin it and they put it down in front of a chief and put abalone shells down on it. That’s why they get their names Nisigala and Balsgiik. They got quiet a few names out of it, the episode on the grizzly. This is a memorial pole of Kw’ax̱suu.

Further up, there is a five-sided plain pole, five sides. Above that is a carved bent box commemorating a young child that died as an infant. Above that is the grizzly bear cub. This was put up by a chief that was first to ever become Christian in Ging̱olx. His name was Robert Kw’ax̱suu. His nephew was Matthew Nass.

When you see a human figure in the ears of a grizzly bear or bear or beaver, and human faces in hands, it indicated they are supernatural.

There’s a salmon, coho salmon is attached to it, and the way the pole is carved. The forearm was carved separately and attached to the totem pole so that way it sticks out a little more for viewing.

And same thing with the nose. See the nose – see the dowel here and the nose is attached.

So there are all the attachments we see. Other than the bent box and the copper shield were only attachments on this pole. Very seldom you see some attachments in Nisg̱a’a poles. You don’t see any wings attached to the pole. Some areas they have, so that’s what happened here – they attached the forearm, the nose and the copper shield.

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