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

Just Posted

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read