The totem pole is a distinctive and widely admired form of traditional Northwest Coast Native art. Once nearly lost, this art form is alive and thriving today. In this beautifully photographed book, Vickie Jensen collaborates with Norman Tait, a renowned Nisga’a artist, and his crew of young carvers to document the process of transforming a log into a totem pole.
Throughout the carving process, Tait requires the apprentices to make their own tools, design their regalia and practice traditional drumming, songs and dances. He teaches the young carvers that carving a pole requires more than time and labour, more than a firm understanding of the tools and techniques and more than artistic and emotional commitment. The process involves respecting and following tradition and becoming involved in their cultural background.
Published in 2003