Taking a break from the Seven Random Things Meme, I was driving down Country Homes Boulevard the other day when this brilliant white totem pole caught my attention. I can only assume that a coat of primer was applied prior to re-painting. The white struck me for reasons I can't fully explain, and so I turned around to get these pictures.
Totem poles are somewhat misplaced in this region. Giving the full benefit of the doubt, I presume somebody must have thought to honor Native cultures, but they did so by creating a monument far removed from the traditions of the Spokane people. Local tribes never made totem poles, so I generally feel strange to see them around these parts. And from what I hear, they're are even misnamed. They represent family heralds or crests more than personal totems.
So I'm curious, does anyone know an authentic story behind the purpose of real totem poles? Does anyone know an authentic name from their culture of origin?