Totem Pole Will Honor the
Ketchikan Native Community
Israel Shotridge Commissioned
To Carve 40' Totem Pole for KIC Health Clinic
September 15, 2004
Ketchikan, Alaska - The Ketchikan Indian Corporation recently
commissioned Tlingit Master Carver Israel Shotridge to carve
a 40' western red cedar into a totem pole to honor the Ketchikan
Native Community. Once finished, this pole will be placed at
the Ketchikan Indian Community Health Clinic.
Master Carver Israel
Shotridge is pictured working on the Eagle & Raven which
represents all the people. The Eagle & Raven are located
at the top of the totem pole. The project is much further along
than pictured in this photo taken on August 28, 2004.
Photo by Dick Kauffman
This huge 40' totem pole will represent three tribes - the Tlingit,
Haida & Tsimpshian people. There are no main animal figures
being carved on this magnificent totem, except the eagle and
raven. The eagle and raven will be at the top of the totem and
will represent all the people.
From the bottom to the top,
the figures on the totem pole are:
- Bentwood Box holds the treasures,
stories, legends of the Native culture.
- Cedarbark Weaver
- Mother & Child
- Raven's Tail Weaver
- Healing Drum with three hands
representing the three local tribal groups. The drum also represents
the heartbeat of the native people.
- Spokesperson holding the KIC
Copper. A copper represents great wealth.
- Eagle & Raven
In the wings are spirit faces
which represent the ancestors. Along the side of the pole is
floral work to honor the women. The floral carving is a tribute
to Dwight Wallace, a Haida Carver, who carved floral work on
one of his poles. The floral design also shows the femininity
of the woman.
There is great detail in this
pole. Abalone inlays as labrets will be in each woman's lip and
Mother of Pearl buttons will be inlaid along the ceremonial robe
of the Mother & Child. Metal will be attached to the carved
tools of the carver along with an adz and copper will be embossed
onto the carved copper figure.
The Mother & Daughter...
painted by Mother (Sue Shotridge) and Daughter (Autumn).
Photo by Dick Kauffman
The artists working on the project are:
Master Carver: Israel
Robert Barratt (Photo) - Vancouver, BC
Wayne Hewson (Photo) - Metlakatla
Guest carver/Painter: George
Painter/Project Manager: Sue
Work on the totem has been
ongoing for several months and is drawing to an end. However,
it's still not too late to visit with Master Carver Israel Shotridge,
his carving assistants and apprentices daily at the Totem Heritage
Center. Shotridge will be carving until the end of September.
Due to the logistics involved
in installing this totem pole, there will not be a traditional
totem pole raising. Instead the Ketchikan Indian Corporation
maintenance crew and the carvers will install the totem pole
on October 1st. On October 2nd there will be a traditional unveiling
of the totem pole in front of the KIC Health Clinic at 8:00 am
which will be followed by a Potlatch. The KIC Health Clinic is
located at 2960 Tongass Avenue.
Shotridge Studios' Photo Gallery:
KIC Totem Project Photographs - View the carving from start to finish...
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