Totem - Grizzly Coming to the Village


This 30-foot red cedar pole illustrates Norman Tait’s family.  In First Nations culture the family and clan crests are passed down from the mother.  Individuals receive powerful ancestral names after an important event in their lives. Descending from the Eagle family and Beaver clan, Norman Tait's ancestral name is Naawokw Kiikinskw  which means "Grizzly Coming to the Village". From the top of the pole is the grizzly bear is watching over his territory, followed by the eagle (family crest), his three brothers, and the beaver (clan crest) at the 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.

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