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

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

Stephen Novik takes the mic at Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Event takes place Aug. 29 at Char’s Landing

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read