Pts’aanim Sbi-smax

Sim’oogit: Ax̱dii M̓in-Aajax̱
Pdeeḵ: Lax̱gibuu
Wiln̓aat’ahl: Gitlax̱t’iyooḵhl
Wilp: Ax̱dii M̓in Aajax̱
Miinhl Gihlee’e: W̓ii Seeks
G̱an’agwit: 44 feet
K’uuhl wil gahlkwt: 1892

Hli adoḵst w̓itkwt hli ts’iw̓int:

1. Gitguxwts’ag̱at
2. G̱andix’oots’inx̱hl Gibuu
3. Siilin̓skw
4. Mooyithl Ul
5. Sbi-Smax
6. T’img̱esa Lik’in̓skw
7. G̱alksi-G̱alg̱olts’ax̱
8. Hagwil̓ooḵ’am Gadim ts’im-aks

G̱alts’abim Gitwinksihlkw wil w̓itkws Ax̱dii M̓in Aajax̱. T’aahl w̓ii n̓agum sg̱an̓ist g̱aḵ’alaan̓hl g̱alts’abim Gitwinksihlkw, n̓ii- mitkwhl matx loot. Ii bax̱-gwilal̓hl w̓iit’ax̱ dax g̱aḵ’alaan̓hl g̱alts’ap. Ii nidiit naa ji m̓in-aḵhlgwit loot g̱asg̱oohl g̱ag̱etkwhl hli laax̱-m̓in-pdaltgwit. N̓ig̱ant siwatdiithl sg̱an̓ist tgus ahl Ax̱dii M̓in-Aajax̱. N̓iwil w̓itkwhl wahl Sim’oogit.

K’aa-w̓ii lay̓hl g̱alts’aphl Gitwinksihlkw gi- k’uuhl. Gilp’il wil t’ip-mihlt. Ksg̱alaanim wil t’ip mihlt, wilk’ii jag̱a-lukwdiit ahl Hlaxwhl Y̓ans, g̱anhl Gwin̓ahaa, anuu g̱alax̱dilihl g̱alts’ap. Hlaa jijoḵhl sim’oogit ahl Gwin̓ahaa, n̓iwilt japdiithl pts’aanhl wat ahl Sbi-Smax. N̓ihl Sim’oogit W̓ii Seeks Gitspudwida an gahlkwt, Gisḵ’aast n̓it. Hlimoomit Sim’oogit Ni’islisy̓aan, Lax̱ gibuu n̓it. G̱anhl k’yoohl wilaay̓iskws W̓ii Seeks. N̓ii-kw’ax̱haasthl wat, Gisḵ’aast n̓it. Gitwinksihlkw wil saa-bakwhl simgigat dip gun. Gwin̓ahaa wil hitkwhl pts’aan tgun.

T’ipx̱ool̓thl t’imḵ’aax di huxw ḵ’aaxhl g̱an̓agwihl pts’aanim sbi-smax tgun. 1929 wilt woot’diit. N̓iwilt giikwhl Museum of the American Indians ahl New York. N̓i wilt gwilks-giikwhl Canadian Museum, ii N̓iwil hitkwt sa tgun ahl Canadian Museum of Civilization.

K’iil’iks adaawaḵhl ptsaan ts’iuuxw dim wila n’eesda’ahl adaawaḵ

Bears’ Den Totem Pole

Chief: Ax̱dii M̓in-Aajax
Tribe: Lax̱gibuu
Clan: Git Laxt’iyookhl
House: Ax̱dii M̓in Aajax̱
Carver: Wii Seeks
Height: 45 feet
Year: circa 1900

Crest figures from top to bottom:

1. Supernatural bird with long beak
2. Shadow of a wolf
3. Hunter
4. Personified bear
5. Bears’ Den
6. Grizzly Bear Head
7. Carry through
8. Supernatural man from the water

Chief Ax̱dii M̓in Aajax̱, “unreachable”, was originally from the village of Gitwinksihlkw, once the largest Nisg̱a’a village on the Nass River. It burned down for the second time in the summer of 1892. The residents moved to Hlaxwhl Y̓ans, “Under Leaf”, and Gwin̓aahaa, “Place of beauty”, on lower ground on the southeast side of the river.

The Bears’ Den totem pole was erected at Gwin̓aahaa around the year 1900 and carved by Chief W̓ii Seeks (“Huge Sparkling Star”) of the Killer Whale tribe along with his helper, Chief Ni’islisy̓aan of the Wolf tribe (owner and master of personal slave by the name of Y̓aan, “Leonard Douglas”) and N̓ii-kw’ax̱haast (“Fire weed all around”) of the Killer Whale tribe of W̓ii Seeks house. These carvers were originally from Gitwinksihlkw.

The Bears’ Den pole was purchased in 1929 by the Museum of the American Indian in New York. The National Museum of Canada purchased it from the MAI in 1977 and it now stands in the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Click 'Story of the Pole' below to continue the story.
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Historical Pictures of Bear’s Den Pole in Gwin̓ahaa (click for larger image)

Bears's Den Thumbnail 1Bears's Den Thumbnail 2Bears's Den Thumbnail 3Bears's Den Thumbnail 4