Photostory #113: Thunderbird Park, B. C.: Totem Poles Preserved for Posterity

John Mailer , Bernard Atkins
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
July 9, 1957
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
Indian artists had an almost limitless choice of characters to choose from and few clear-cut rules governed the choice or order of the figures on the pole. Thus the only persons who fully understood the carvings were the owner and those to whom he recited the legends, as was invariably done at a tribal dance when the pole was raised. However some knowledge of Indian art and mythology will take the outsider a good part of the way in unlocking the secrets of B.C.'s picturesque totem-poles.