Family Portrait – Totem Pole Style

Family Portrait - Totem Pole Style

A dear friend is getting hitched this week so I thought a family portrait would make a nice gift. After thinking for a while, it came to me–

Ask each person in the family what their favorite critter is and sketch them with some unique add-ons in the shape of a totem pole.

Historically, totems often represented the family’s genealogy with patron spirits intermingled between the relatives. However, not all is historically sound. A thunder bird is quite inaccurate to the true totems of Native Americans in Western America. But, as in-accurate as a thunder bird on top a totem pole is, I went ahead and put soon-to-be dad right on top, arms stretched out. How could I not?! He chose a flying squirrel, people. LOL! Quite often elders were near the bottom holding everyone up. I know, I know- what about the whole “bottom of the totem pole” cliche? Well, research showed me that is kind of a farce and just 19th century american’s lack of understanding.

Any who, so here’s a poor picture of it. I need to scan it and will this weekend. Cheers!


About Rochelle Cavanaugh

I'm a jack-o-all trades and master of none. I enjoy a myriad of subjects especially dealing with the world, Presbyterianism, anthropology, sociology and all things people/nature related. And I enjoy these subjects through different medias- art, music, poetry, folklore, dissertations, text books, and the list goes on. I'm a school custodian/maintenance coordinator, wife of a full-time graduate student, and mother of a 4 year old. If it's unrefined and honest, you have my undivided attention.
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