Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 Exposure: 1/125s f2.8/9mm Date: 22.08.2017
Mortuary totem poles, Ninstints, Gwaii Haanas National Park, BC
Only a few of the original totem poles at Ninstints are still standing. Many were destroyed by fire, others were removed from the site to various museums and many simply fell over from age and decay. Haida mortuary poles had a cavity in the top which held the burial box, inside which were the remains of a chief or high ranking person. These remains were placed in the box a year after the death. In order to accommodate the box, the cavity was generally cut into the wide end of the pole with the tapering end set into the ground. The box was hidden from view by a frontal board, painted and/or carved with a lineage crest, placed across the front. The shape and design of this board gave the appearance of a large chest.