Monday, March 30, 2009

Museum Campus: Field Museum Lawn [Totem Pole : Big Beaver - by Norman Tait]

Totem: Big Beaver ..
Carver: Norman Tait ..
Installed: 1982 ..
Description: Cedar, H 65 ft.
Commissioned by The Field Museum
Location: The Field Museum ...
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus..

Big Beaver is a contemporary totem pole in the traditional mode, commissioned to commemorate the opening of The Field Museum’s hall of Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples. The totem tells the legend of Canadian artist Norman Tait’s ancestors of the Nisga'a Tsimshian group and how they came to adopt the beaver as their clan symbol. Human and animal figures dramatize family myths and comprise a visual statement of Tait’s ancestral identity and lineage.

The plaque reads ...
" The Story of Big Beaver ...
Totem pole by Norman Tait
Nisga's carver, Kincolith, British Columbia ...

This 55-foot totem pole tells a traditional story [or Addizookan] of carver Norman Tait's family ...

Five brothers went on a beaver hunt. Although the hunt was successful, two small beavers escaped from the hunters. The youngest brother - too little to hunt - followed the beavers and kindly helped them home.

At the beaver's lodge, the youngest brother peered inside and saw that the small beavers had removed their pelts, revealing that they were human. He also listened as the beavers told their grandfather, the Beaver Chief, about the slaughter of their family.

Full of remorse for what his family had done to the beaver people, the youngest brother decided to adopt the beaver for his family crest; his brothers agreed and never again hunter beaver ... "

# Big Beaver..
# Kwanusila, The Thunderbird ..
# Totem Poles in Chicago..

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