Aging totem pole comes down at ceremony outside Royal B.C. Museum

Second totem removed because of internal damage suffered through exposure to the elements

Women dance during the Abyas song to cleanse and bless the ground for the cedar mortuary pole replica carved by Mungo Martin in 1955 was removed from Thunderbird Park during a commemorative ceremony on the grounds of the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

An aging totem pole that told the story of a murdered woman was lowered during a ceremony outside the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria.

Dancers circled the replica Haida mortuary pole, which has stood at the museum’s Thunderbird Park for almost 65 years, before it was hooked to a crane and gently brought to the ground.

It’s the second totem removed from the park in recent days after engineers determined the poles suffered internal damage through exposure to the elements and were at risk of falling.

Hereditary Haida Chief Reg Young says the original pole was carved in honour of a woman from his village of Tanu who was murdered in the 19th century on the U.S. San Juan Islands, located between Vancouver Island and Washington state.

Young says mortuary poles included the remains of the deceased and were placed in villages to announce a person’s passing and reveal their status in the community.

READ MORE: Two totem poles to come down at Victoria’s Thunderbird Park

The Haida pole will be transported to the Kwakiutl First Nation near Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island, the homeland of Mungo Martin, the Indigenous artist who carved both totems.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No fines issued in provincial parks over May longweekend

Activities restricted to day-use only

Social distancing at the skatepark — kids style

Kids in the village have taken on board this season of social… Continue reading

Spirit Square reopened on June 1

Spirit Square was closed to the community in accordance with the public… Continue reading

A sign we should be fishing

Burns Lake resident, Jason Steinke captured this photo of a cloud shaped… Continue reading

Museum society undertakes membership drive

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the Lakes District Museum Society… Continue reading

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read