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Totem Night

By: Chip Porter

 

Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

 

Winter stars of Gemini and Auriga trail behind totems in Alaska. Totem is any supposed entity that watches over or assists a group of people, such as a family, clan, or tribe. As noted by the photographer "Totem Bight near Ketchikan, Alaska has one of the largest concentrations of Tlingit and Haida native totems in the world. This moonlit winter image shows the front of the community or clan house, a large building that could have housed 30 to 50 people. The corner post is a man with a cane. He is ready for a dance or potlatch celebration. The large totem pole in the center of the house is a story pole, it tells about the exploits of a chief or some other high caste person." Chip Porter

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