Totem - Children of the People


This 45-foot carved cedar pole illustrates the four traditional family or clan crests of the First Nations Nisgha people: raven, wolf, eagle and killer whale.  From the top is a figure representing all people, followed by killer whale with a small face emerging from its blow hole, eagle, wolf with a wolf cub (representing Norman’s son Micah) between its ears and a curling tail between its legs. At the base is raven with the artist’s family or clan crest, frog, tucked into both its wings.  On the opposite side of the totem is a chief wearing a button blanket.  The clearly delineated crest figures overlap minimally in high relief on a curving base.



About the artist:
Norman Tait was born in Kincolith (Gingolx) on the Nass River in BC. His father Josiah Tait, was also a carver, and his great-grandfather was Chief Alfred Watson Mountain, Sganism Sim'oogit. When he began carving in 1970, Tait sought out Nisga'a artifacts that he could study since there were no living Nisga'a master carvers for him to study. He worked with his father to raise the first Nisga'a totem pole in over 50 years. During his career as a carver, Tait carved 39 totem poles many of which stand in British Columbia.