Totem poles are carved to honor deceased ancestors record history, social events, and oral tradition. They were never worshipped as religious objects.
This totem is the second replication of the Chief Kyan Totem Pole. The original pole was carved in Ketchikan in the early part of the century and stood n Barney Way until the late 1920's, when it was moved to the Pioneer Hall. In 1964, the aged pole was removed and replicated for the first time. This second replication was commissioned by the City of Ketchikan, to Tlingit master carver Israel Shotridge, who is a member of the Tongass Tribe. The pole was carved during the summer of 1992, with the assistance of apprentice Edwin DeWitt. Rededication and poleraising was July 3, 1993.
The figures on the pole represent the Crane, the Thunderbird and the Brown Bear. The original pole belonged to Tongass Tlingit Chief George Kyan whose Brown Bear crest can be seen on the pole. Chief Kyan's Tlingit name was Yaansein. He was of the Wolf clan and was a member of the Tantakwaan tribe. Text approved by Tongass Tribe.
Visit Ketchikan's other totem poles, and the only National Landmark collection of old, original totem poles at Totem Heritage Center, 601 Deermount Street