A Totem Pole History
The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire
Publication Year: 2013
Joseph Hillaire (Lummi, 1894–1967) is recognized as one of the great Coast Salish artists, carvers, and tradition-bearers of the twentieth century. In A Totem Pole History, his daughter Pauline Hillaire, Scälla–Of the Killer Whale (b. 1929), who is herself a well-known cultural historian and conservator, tells the story of her father’s life and the traditional and contemporary Lummi narratives that influenced his work.
A Totem Pole History contains seventy-six photographs, including Joe’s most significant totem poles, many of which Pauline watched him carve. She conveys with great insight the stories, teachings, and history expressed by her father’s totem poles. Eight contributors provide essays on Coast Salish art and carving, adding to the author’s portrayal of Joe’s philosophy of art in Salish life, particularly in the context of twentieth century intercultural relations.
This engaging volume provides an historical record to encourage Native artists and brings the work of a respected Salish carver to the attention of a broader audience.
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
Download PDF (751.0 KB)
Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
Download PDF (1.1 MB)
Download PDF (63.2 KB)
List of Illustrations
Download PDF (63.2 KB)
List of Maps
Download PDF (35.4 KB)
A Note on Lummi Terms
Download PDF (57.5 KB)
For their expertise and generous assistance with Lummi terms, we are thankful to Lummi hereditary chief Tsi’li’xw Bill James and Dr. Timo-thy Montler, Department of Linguistics, University of North Texas. Bill James provided assistance with the Lummi terms used by the author, and Timothy Montler provided spellings of the terms with diacritical marks ...
Nomination of Pauline Hillaire for the National Heritage Fellowship
Download PDF (58.6 KB)
Scälla, Pauline Hillaire for the neh National Fellowship Award. I was privileged to receive the award many years ago, and I know that its inten-tion is to highlight our living treasures. Scälla most surely belongs with those who have spent their lives practicing and perpetuating the best of our American traditions. As a Native American artist and teacher and ...
A Call to Carvers
Download PDF (1.3 MB)
Lummi Nation. My Indian name is Scälla, which means “Of the Killer Whale.” I’m making an all-out call for young people with dreams and visions for the future of their children and the survival of their children. You’ve got to have heart, and I know you do. To carve as the Coast Salish people did, you’ve got to have heart. It has also been said, “Once ...
Download PDF (2.1 MB)
...northern Pacif_ic Coast, that is, the totem poles of Alaska and northern Brit-ish Columbia from tribes such as the Tlingit, Haida, and Kwakwaka’wakw (see map 1). However, south of these tribes, a number of Coast Salish tribes in Canada and Washington State also carve totem poles. Among Ameri-can Coast Salish tribes, the tradition of totem pole carving is particularly ...
Scälla, Of the Killer Whale: A Brief Biography
Download PDF (1.6 MB)
...each other. Rocks could talk, animals could talk, f_ish and little As Native people, our value system is based on our relationship to the land. Our environment is part of every aspect of our lives. The land will sing to you, if you listen. It is the source of songs. Many Gooseberry Point witnessing a breathtaking sunset as the autumn sun ...
Download PDF (2.3 MB)
The reason I say this is because I’ve watched several family members as they carved from beginning to end: totem poles, grave markers, boxes, utensils, masks, hats, canoes, paddles, and many other useful and artistic items.I must admit that I watched my father carve more than anyone else did. He told stories of nature, legends of the old times, and Indian teachings ...
2 Power of the Bear: Memories of My Father, Joe Hillaire
Download PDF (4.3 MB)
Club, was born on December 25, 1894. First of all, he is my dad, and I am extremely proud of him. My ef_fort in this book is to tell you about him as much as possible while knowing that telling about just one part of his life — his work as a carver — is extremely limited. He completed the sixth grade at the Tulalip Indian School. His father’s name was Haeteluk ...
3 Kwul-kwul’tw, Spirit of the War Club: Religious Man, Renaissance Man
Download PDF (122.8 KB)
...3 Kwul-kwul’tw, Spirit of the War ClubReligious Man, Renaissance Manremembers being away from home at a government boarding school, the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the 1960s. Sometimes, when she was homesick, she would go to the school library and listen to the Library of Congress recording of Joe Hillaire’s ...
PART TWO: Coast Salish Art and Carving
4 Straits Salish Sculpture
Download PDF (600.2 KB)
...tribes who spoke related languages called Coast Salish by linguists. These Coast Salish people live along the southern coast of British Columbia, including the south end of Vancouver Island, and the western part of Washington State on the shores of Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound and stretching south as far as the Columbia River and the southwestern ...
5 Joseph Raymond Hillaire: Lummi Artist-Diplomat
Download PDF (2.7 MB)
...culture bearer, culture broker, artist, Native activist, and diplomat. He came of age in a tumultuous period, his generation having inherited the trauma of their parents’ dehumanizing experiences in boarding schools and at the hands of missionaries and government agents. Thef_t of traditional lands meant an ever-shrinking resource base from which to carry on f_ishing, ...
6 Coast Salish Carving: Our Work Is Our Identity
Download PDF (527.2 KB)
...carving masks and bentwood boxes. With the help of master carvers who have taken me under their wings — they’ll teach you if they see that you’re a doer and not just a talker — there’s absolutely nothing that these master carvers will not share with you. It is a blessing of mentorship, and now I’m in a position where I can teach and I can pass on this art form ...
7 I Look to the Old People: Reflectionson Joe Hillaire and Carving
Download PDF (366.8 KB)
...7 I Look to the Old PeopleReflections on Joe Hillaire and Carvingtable and a sudden thought came into my head: “I’m going to carve a totem pole.” I was in my twenties, had worked many dif_ferent jobs, and hadn’t felt fulf_illed by any of them. This thought about carving was odd enough in that I had no experience with it and knew next to nothing ...
8 A Thin Red Line: Pigments and Paint Technology of the Northwest Coast
Download PDF (568.2 KB)
...charcoal and red ochre paintings deep in caves, every culture has used color in the forms of pigments, dyes, and paints to bring to life their dreams, their environment, and their experiences. Among Native people of the Northwest Coast, the application of mineral pigments and vegetable dyes to objects and to their own bodies has been one of the most enduring ...
9 Maintaining Integrity: Totem Pole Conservation and the Restoration of the Centennial History Pole
Download PDF (731.4 KB)
...9 Maintaining IntegrityTotem Pole Conservation and the Restoration motivated by many factors. In the early twentieth century, totem poles were restored and moved to new locations as tourist sights. Examples of this history border the rail lines through northern British Columbia. As landmarks, these totem poles were highly prized by the developers of tourist ...
10 Archetypes from Cedar: Myth and Coast Salish Story Poles
Download PDF (162.9 KB)
...four years before his death in 1961 at age eighty-f_ive. His prologue to Memories, Dreams, and Reflections begins with the words “My life is a story.” He speaks of his autobiography as the telling of his personal myth. The language of myth, not the language of science, Jung wrote, is the lan-guage that can be used to speak of the process of personal growth: “Science ...
11 Artists Were the First Historians: Spiritual Significance of Coast Salish Carving
Download PDF (881.9 KB)
...11 Artists Were the First HistoriansSpiritual Significance of Coast Salish Carvingwhat I have been taught about as the immortal spirits, whose purposes for being are to preserve and perpetuate. These profound intentions were known so well by Kwul-kwul’tw, as his life was f_illed with art that preserves and perpetuates sacred teachings. To honor such dedication and humility, ...
PART THREE : Totem Poles of Joe Hillaire
12 Bellingham Centennial History Pole
Download PDF (4.7 MB)
The Bellingham Centennial History Pole was carved for the 1952 Bell-ingham Centennial Celebration and installed near the Bellingham, Washington, Post Of_f_ice. It was restored by Felix Solomon, Scott Jensen, and Andrew Todd at the Chulh tse X’epy (čúɬ cuni0259 x̣uni0259páy’) Tradition of Cedar Carving Studio, Lummi Reservation, and installed at the Whatcom ...
13 Schelangen Story Pole
Download PDF (2.1 MB)
The Schelangen (Mobil/Ferndale) pole was carved for the General Petro-leum Ref_inery in Ferndale, Washington, to represent the close relationship between the Lummi Tribe, industry, and the Ferndale community. The pole was installed at the ref_inery from 1954 to 1992. Restoration was undertaken under the sponsorship of the Mobil Annuitants Group, and ...
14 Kobe-Seattle Sister Cities Friendship Pole
Download PDF (3.0 MB)
Joe Hillaire was commissioned by the Seattle-Kobe Af_f_iliation Committee to carve the Kobe pole as a gesture of international friendship af_ter the devastation of World War II. Like some of Joe’s other carvings, the Kobe pole reflects important historical events and community relationships. These works also reflect the spirit of intercultural fellowship that infused ...
15 Land in the Sky Story Pole
Download PDF (3.9 MB)
In 1963 this pole was installed in Suquamish, Washington, by the Wash-ington State Pioneer Association, Kitsap County Historical Association, and American Legion Post No. 60. Dedicated to Chief Siʔaɬ (Seattle) and Chief Kitsap, it stood until 2005, when it was taken to be stored on the Lummi Reservation, with hopes of restoration. The myth that ...
16 Man in Transition Story Pole
Download PDF (1.7 MB)
The Man in Transition Totem Pole was carved for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It was restored by Dale James and donated by Craig Cole and family goes along with this particular totem pole. We must take the lesson from the painter that we used pastels, but we should use sharper colors for all totem poles. The story of this totem pole is called “Man in Transition.” ...
17 T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge Entrance Pole
Download PDF (1013.4 KB)
The T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge Entrance Pole was designed by Bill Holm and carved by Joe Hillaire and his son Ben Hillaire. It was installed in 1962 by the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America at Camp be an Indian. Therefore, some Indians tried to pass themselves of_f as Mexicans, others invented the name “Smoked Irish,” and if they happened ...
18 Bronson Story Pole
Download PDF (1.8 MB)
...18 Bronson Story Pole, 1957From the Archives of Pauline HillaireThe Bronson Story Pole was commissioned by the Richard Bronson family, Gig Harbor, Washington. Joe Hillaire completed it in 1957. It was restored by Larry Ahvakana and Ed Carriere at the Carriere Studio, Suquamish, Washington, and installed at Indianola Park, Port Madison/Suquamish ...
19 Halibut Fisherman Story Pole I
Download PDF (819.9 KB)
The date and location of this pole are unknown. While completing the research for this book, Pauline Hillaire concluded that the pole shown here does not entirely correspond with Joe’s carving style and was prob-ably a replica of his Halibut Fisherman story pole I carved by another carver. As research continued, we discovered that photographer John W. ...
20 Halibut Fisherman Story Pole II
Download PDF (1.4 MB)
Halibut Fisherman story pole II was carved by Joe Hillaire in 1956. Its art of making the hook with which to catch the flat f_ish of the sea. Our story begins with the dif_f_iculties of two young men whose mother was unable to teach them the art of making the halibut hook. The boys’ father had died, and the mother, being a member of a distant tribe, chose to ...
21 Double-Headed Wolf Totem
Download PDF (74.5 KB)
The Double-Headed Wolf totem is at the base of the Schelangen story and asks me, “What is the crest of the Hillaire family? What are the symbols of the Hillaire family?” And then I go through a list of, say, half This is a Double-Headed Wolf: two heads, one body. And there is a man above; that’s his power, and when he dances, he has two wolf heads. ...
PART FOUR : Lummi Oral History and Tradition
22 Some Place-Names from Lummi History
Download PDF (78.8 KB)
The following is a composite of information stated told by Al Charles, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Victor, Johnny Julius, August Martin, and Mr. and Mrs. Julius Charles during a meeting with Norbert James and Joseph R. village called Xxe lel kuut, north of the present town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Near this village was a cemetery; his uncle is buried ...
Download PDF (1.6 MB)
...canoe pictured here with the two boys in it. When he was f_inished, the two boys, Willy and Charlie, got in it, and my husband raced them, swimming, to the dock of the ferry landing. And my husband beat them, but they were new at canoe pulling. The boys paddled for all they were worth to get to the ferry dock before my husband; my husband was in the navy, and he was ...
24 Longhouses of Long Ago
Download PDF (1.3 MB)
...structures, and because the Indians who built them were colorful, the longhouses were colorful. They were usually built where drinking water was convenient. There were several freshwater springs in the Lummi area. Not only were the longhouses colorful, but with the wisdom of the ages, they were built comfortably and wisely. I was born in a square longhouse. ...
25 A Wedding in Lummi History
Download PDF (84.9 KB)
...25 A Wedding in Lummi HistoryPlans for a Play by Joseph HillaireLong ago there lived upon Lummi Island a young man named Switunk. The Great Transformer came along and told him how to get the salmon for food and how to care for himself. By and by, the young man became lonely, for he wanted company. The Great Transformer had said nothing ...
26 How the Lummi Came to Their Present Abode
Download PDF (99.3 KB)
Orcas Island, there was a widow with two sons. The oldest boy’s name was Wh ta’thum. The widow decided to have her son marry a girl from among the S’kalakin Tribe, who lived on the mainland. Af_ter due prepa-rations were made with the help of some friends, the widow secured the hand of a young maid from the mainland to become the wife of her son. ...
27 The Lummi at Treaty-Making Time
Download PDF (753.2 KB)
...27 The Lummi at Treaty-Making TimeA Play by Joseph Hillaire, Performed In 1933 Joe Hillaire wrote this script for a reenactment of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. Joe hoped that the play and related activities planned in observation of the upcoming centennial of the treaty would af_ford an opportunity for both Indian and white citizens to reflect on events ...
Download PDF (76.1 KB)
The teachings in Indian Country remain the same. Only the faces of the people change. The teaching on this family totem pole is, as the elders say, “Never go alone.” Whether you are hunting, berry picking, f_ishing in the deep waters, or gathering basket materials way up in the mountains, “Never go alone” echoed the words, one generation af_ter another....
29 Four Generations of Medicine Men
Download PDF (79.0 KB)
...29 Four Generations of Medicine Men A Legend Told by Pauline HillaireThis story was recorded by Gregory Fields at the Center for Spirituality & Sustainability, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, June 26, 2008.little son. The son was a little tyke; he’d follow his father all around to each house. He’d go from house to house and house to house, and he’d ...
30 The Mink Family and the Raccoon Family
Download PDF (87.8 KB)
This story was recorded by Gregory Fields at the Center for Spirituality & Sustainability, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, June 26, 2008.were no people on the land, just animals. Only the creatures that creep around were here. Can you imagine not a single human being? Not a single human being, no matter where you looked. But the animals were happy. ...
31 Stommish: Revival of the Water Festival
Download PDF (322.1 KB)
...when the Lummi Indians went into mourning over lost sons in World War I. This silence continued until 1946, when Indian boys returned from World War II. Then began the Stommish Water Festival (stommish is a Cowichan word meaning “warrior”). The celebration was patterned af_ter the old potlatches, still fresh in the memories of tribal elders. Events ...
32 Signs of the Seasons
Download PDF (71.5 KB)
In the fall, when the caterpillars are mostly orange, we’ll have a good winter. When they’re mostly black, we’re in for a bad winter.If the trees in the fall have lost all or most of their leaves, we’re in for a bad winter. But if they kept at least half their leaves when fall winds quit Bald eagles appear, and they harvest grunters, smelt, and herring....
Download PDF (101.4 KB)
Download PDF (82.3 KB)
List of Contributors
Download PDF (66.0 KB)
Download PDF (109.4 KB)
Other Works in the Series
Download PDF (63.1 KB)
To order or obtain more information on these or other University of ...
Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2013