Low Man on the Totem Pole

The 107-acre Sitka National Historic Park Low-Man totem

Known as “Totem Park” by locals, it preserves and interprets the site of a Tlingit Indian Fort and the battle fought between the Russians and the Tlingits in 1804. A beautiful collection of Haida and Tlingit totem poles stands along a pathway that meanders through the rainforest. The museum contains an exhibit of Tlingit and Russian artifacts, authentic totems, and an active Tlingit arts program studio.

Low Man on the Totem Pole

It might appear that the lowest figure on a totem pole lacks status, but the low end of the totem pole is very important. Totem poles are carved by a chief carver and a number of apprentices. Traditionally, the chief carver personally carves the bottom ten feet of the pole and allows the inexperienced apprentices to carve the higher regions, which are less visible from the ground. The most intricate and best carved figures are usually placed on the bottom end with the story thinning out towards the top.