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Gitxsan Pole

Gitxsan Pole, 1960
Carvers: Mungo Martin, Henry Hunt
and Tony Hunt
Based on: Gitxsan Memorial Pole

With permission of the chiefs, several old poles were removed for preservation from Gitanyow (formerly known as Kitwancool) in 1958 and replaced by replicas. This is a version of the pole named Skim-sim and Will-a-daugh belonging to Chief Wiha (Wee-kha, Ernest Smith), the chief of the Wolf (Gilt-Winth) clan. It is the second replica, the first having been done for Gitanyow. Emily Carr sketched the bottom figure of the pole at Gitanyow in 1928 and later produced a studio oil of it called Totem Mother, Kitwancool that now hangs in the Vancouver Art Gallery. The original of this pole is in the collection of the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (A50019).
RBCM 20127.
All Colour Images - RBCM, 2006.


Gitxsan Pole

Giant Woodpecker, (Wee-get-welku) a crest that originated with the story of an ancestress who kept a woodpecker as a pet, feeding it constantly. It turned into a huge monster and ate everything made of wood before it was finally killed.

Five small human figures, the house carvings.
Mountain Eagle, (Skim-sim) who kidnapped and mated with a young woman and devoured their offspring. (According to Wilson Duff , the large bird figure is the mother of the Prince of the Wolves.)
Eleven small human figures, who fish through holes in the ice.
Will-a-daugh holding her child. Will-a-daugh was a chief’s niece at Ke-an (Prince Rupert) who conceived a child from a wood grub. The nose of the ancestress on the original pole was probably long and sharp edged. Marius Barbeau described the figure as “Person with a large nose . . .  holding a child or human being in its hands.”


Giant Woodpecker
Close up of Giant Woodpecker
Small Human Figures
Close up of Small Human Figures
Close up of Small Human Figures
Mountain Eagle
Close up of Mountain Eagle

Wing of Mountain Eagle Eleven Small human figures
Close up of eleven small human figures Will-a-daugh holding her child
Close up of Child Close up of Child's Face
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