|Celebrating when we finished capturing Box 300|
And now on to more substantial thoughts. "Totem poles serve as important illustrations of family lineage and the cultural heritage of native peoples... [and] symbolize characters and events of a myth or relate the experiences of known ancestors or living people." (Wikipedia) One of the tallest totem poles is over 173 feet high. The largest has been measured over 6 feet in diameter. I am fascinated by totem poles. They could possibly have a place in family history research.
|The entrance to the Vigo County Historical Museum|
The vertical order of images on a pole is thought to be significant. If an image or depiction is on the bottom, or "low man on the totem pole," it gives the impression that the higher figures were more important or prestigious. The higher, the better, I guess. But on the other hand, some of the totems are arranged in reverse hierarchy with the most important representations on the bottom. As in art, an eye level view focuses on what or who is most significant.
|Resting place of Chauncey Rose.|
In past blogs we have introduced you to some very prominent men in the early history of Vigo County: Levi Warren, Josephus Collett, and Chauncey Rose. In some views, their stories would be carved on the top of the totem pole. While their contributions are interesting and noteworthy, there are hundreds of ordinary people on the lower tier of the pole who deserve honor and remembrance.
About a month ago we captured a two sided document that tugged at our heart. It was a request to the Circuit Court from parents for reimbursement of living expenses for their young adopted daughter. Here's what the application states:
|We are grateful for temples that bring families together.|
|Sarah Ann Andrews Arave|
|Elva Aroline Arave Bennett|
|Zelma May Bennett Singleton|
|My totem pole.|
What's carved on your totem pole?