Downtown Duncan Totem Poles – Totem Pole Walking Tour
Basil James described the pole as being inspired by a flood story told in a community on Gilford Island off B.C.’s Central Coast about the Thunderbird coming from Mt. Stephens, a 1592m (5223 feet) peak in B.C.’s Coast Range, northeast of Nimmo Bay and west of Kingcome Inlet.
“Kwankwanxwalige (the Thunderbird) is on top of the pole…He came down from Mount Stephens, right after the flood. There was a little village there, we call it K’we. He took his Thunderbird dress off and he acted like a man, On the chest of this Thunderbird is a Giant, a Dzunuk’wa (Wild Woman). On the bottom of the pole is the Max’inuxw (Killer Whale) and on his fin is the Luwagila (Raven). The Killer Whales, they save a lot of men, they take them ashore…”
Other symbols on the pole are family crests of the carver’s family.
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