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Kwakwaka’wakw Heraldic Pole

Kwakwaka’wakw Heraldic Pole, 1953
Carvers: Mungo Martin, David Martin and Mildred Hunt

The pole is in front of Wawadiťła, the bighouse built by Mungo Martin in Thunderbird Park and opened in 1953. Rather than display his own crests on the pole, which was customary, Martin chose to include crests representing the A’wa’etłala, Kwagu’ł, ‘Nak´waxda’xw and ‘Namgis Nations. In this way, the pole represents and honours all the Kwakwaka’wakw people. RBCM 20122.
All Colour Images - RBCM, 2006.


Kwakwaka’wakw Heraldic Pole

Thunderbird, a crest of an A’wa’etłala family at Dzawadi, Knight Inlet, whose original ancestor was the Thunderbird who transformed into a man. Later, his son returned to the sky to control thunder and lightning.

Grizzly Bear holding a Copper, the ancestor of a Kwagu’ł family.
Grizzly Bear in human form.
Beaver, an ancestor of a ‘Nak´waxda’xw family at Ba’a’s (Blunden Harbour).

Dzunuwa, the Wild Woman of the Woods, holding her child. A crest of a ‘Namgis family at ‘Yalis (Alert Bay) whose founder was the son of a man who had chased Dzunuwa for stealing dried fish and who eventually married her. Her half-human son became the founder of the family.


Emma Hunt: a Kwakwaka’wakw story about Dzunuwa, told in the Carving Studio. First Peoples Festival, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, 1994. 

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Close up of Thunderbird
Close Up of Thunderbird Wing
Grizzly Bear holding a Copper
Close Up of Grizzly Bear
Close Up of Copper
Grizzly Bear
Close Up of Grizzly Bear
Close Up of Beaver

Beaver Tail and Face Dzunuk´wa with Child
Close Up of Dzunuk´wa Close Up of Half Human Son of Dzunuk´wa
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