My grandparents Leonard and Mable Miller spent their summers working in Alaska since I was a little kid. During that time, my family would watch over the farm feeding the sheep and chickens and tending to the daily duties and maintenance. At the end of every summer, grandma and grandpa would come home and the entire Miller clan would get together for a big dinner and slide show from their trip. At the end, Grandma would always give us gifts from Alaska. Each year it was something different: a scrimshaw ring, an Eskimo doll or a totem pole.
When I was working on the idea for The Field House back in 2008, one of the items I listed as a must for the store was authentic Alaskan totem poles. The Field House is a representation of my childhood and my grandparents influence upon me so Alaska needed to be a part of the mix. Who knew that these totems were impossible to find.
Fortunately, I was able to finally track down some amazing and talented totem artists from Ketchikan Alaska and purchase totems for The Field House. I am astounded at the quality of craftsmanship, quality and artistic interpretation of the Native American stories told by each totem. They remind me of exactly what my grandparents would bring back from their adventures and I am so happy to offer them to you.
Alaska Black Diamond - Mankind with Clamshell Base
DETAILS: Alaska totem poles are etchings in wood, stories told around mystical campfires, legends of hunting experiences, historical events, family relationships and love stories. This totem tells the story of Raven finding and releasing humankind from their clam shell.
THE STORY: The world was dark inside where the humans lived. The kept themselves secret until one day a great bird would come to find them. And so it went Raven, who ruled the world, came upon a huge clam shell sticking out of the mud flats. He flew down, walked around it a few times, noticing a small crack. Raven cocked his head to one side. His eyes peering closer at the opening. He could hear unfamiliar voices coming from within the clam shell. Once again, Raven's curiosity gets the best of him. He thrust his beak into the clam shell with such force that the shell pops open. Startled, he steps back as mankind emerges from the shell. Astonished as Raven, the humans gasp at the sight of the mighty bird and the world around them. Raven knows that he has opened the door to his destiny.
MEASURES: 14 inches tall and 9 inches wide at wing-span.
MADE FROM: This hand carved totem is made of old growth Native yellow cedar grown deep in the rain forests of Southeast Alaska. Hand carved in Ward Cove, Alaska
Our selection of totems range from around $30 to $700. Check out the entire selection here and click to read the stories and see actual measurements.
The artists that make our totems also buit Potlatch Park in Ketchikan Alaska. Here is some information about this perfect vacation destination.
Potlatch Park was built on the old fishing grounds of the Tlingit Natives of Southeast Alaska, just 10 miles north of the quaint Alaskan town of Ketchikan. Take an awe-inspiring trip back to the 19th century as you explore a fully recreated Native Alaskan village, including 5 tribal homes and beautifully carved totems, one of which is an impressive 42 feet high!
The Park hosts some of the finest native art in the world, but that is not all you'll find here–see the Antique Car Museum, including a 1934 Ford Coupe and 1924 Stanley Steamer, the Alaska Totem Trading Shop, and a display of extremely rare Antique Firearms.
Potlatch Totem Park hosts the most visible of native cultures with its authentically built tribal house, walls deeply carved inside and out, giving tribute to the major tribal ancestry of the area. Here you will look upon Raven, Eagle, Thunderbird, decked-out in cedar regalia, Wolves and Killer Whales. Not to mention the majestic 42' totem pole honoring Raven, who released the sun into the world.
Peer into one of the tribal homes to see the diorama of how Native Alaskans actually lived in the 1800s. You can then take a walk up to the carving center where totem pole carver Brita Alander and her team perfect their art over the winter months, .
If you only have time to view one totem park while you're in Ketchikan make sure it is Potlatch Park.