Types, Colors, Carvings, Tribes and Clans
The animals and other carved figures of the pole symbolize the clan's history, ancestry, mythology, rights and privileges of the family who erected the pole.
Stories and meanings of totem poles were shared orally with owners of the pole, the carver, family members and whomever else the owner chose to share.
Because there was no written record or history the meanings of many totem poles cannot be translated or deciphered.
Totem Poles Signify Status
Where the character is placed on the pole signifies the status or importance within the tribe.
Characters carved on the bottoms of totem poles have more important significance than those on the top.
In addition to the authentic representations, there are many whimsical designs of commonly known birds, insects and animals designed using totem artistic styles as a guide.