As we mentioned in an earlier “Walkin’ the dog ” post, while walking K’san in Bowen Park we stumbled upon something that we needed to return to and photograph in more detail. How could we pass up the opportunity to photograph a number of beautiful totem poles that were lying on the ground?
The coastal first nations people of the Pacific Northwest carved spiritual figures on totem poles and these totem poles had significant cultural importance for them. Totem poles are typically carved using Cedar trees, which will decay over time, albeit very slowly. As a result the lifespan of a totem pole is typically less than 100 years. When enough rot has set in that the totem poles become unstable, they are laid down during a spiritual reconnection to the earth ceremony. The totem poles that we stumbled upon in Bowen Park originally stood in front of the duck pond for several decades. As they aged, and in keeping with tradition, the totems were laid down amongst the trees near the duck pond so they could continue to slowly make their return back to the earth. This is where we found them and these are some of the images that we captured of them. We plan to continue to visit these totems and document their slow return back into the earth.