The Sterling Northwest Totem Bracelet, Design #9, hand carved by Owen Walker at Walker Goldsmiths is a very interesting bracelet. It has Raven, Eagle, Salmon and Bear all depicted on this one bracelet. We call it a Totem Bracelet because it is very like the Totem Poles seen in the Indian villages on the Northwest Coast.
“This Totem bracelet is designed to illustrate certain characters used in the myths and legends of the Tlingit and Haida people. The Totem Bracelet design #9 is not really a pole as it has no base. It is a pole with two tops and no bottom, which you can’t do on a cedar log but on a bracelet it works! The figures are a Grizzly Bear with a Salmon being scooped up in his paw, with Raven and Eagle watching from each end, in case he should drop the fish or leave some scraps that could be snatched up and taken away for dinner. Typical behavior for these creatures! We designed this bracelet for our friend Steve, who wanted to embody the Northwest Coast environment around his wrist. I think it is pretty successful in doing that!”
Totem is a word that comes from the Eastern side of this continent so it is not an accurate word to describe the poles that we now call Totem Poles here on the Northwest coast. A Totem in its original use was a spirit helper or animal spirit that belonged to one person. It was a personal thing that had to be sought after and helped a person to be strong and honorable. Then some of the other Eastern Indians used a clan symbol that would tell others who they were. This was also called a totem, and is closer to the usage on the North West Coast
We modern Americans and Canadians now lump all of the different types of poles used by the people of the North West into the category of “Totem Poles” or just “Totems” There are many types of totem poles in use on the Northern coast, memorial poles to honor the dead, crest poles to put in front of your house, so everyone knows who lives there, and story poles. A story pole can be raised to commemorate an event by retelling the story in figures on the pole. Here in the Salish area there are also Welcome Figures, which are large single figures that were set up on the beach in front of the village to welcome guests. There are also house posts that are part of the support system in the old style cedar plank houses that were exquisitely carved with figures from family history or stories that belonged to the family.
This bracelet is like a Totem Pole which means it illustrates certain characters used in the myths and legends of the Tlinget and Haida people. This was a very fun design to make to tell this very possible little story all focused around getting dinner!
Hand Carved ~ Sterling Silver Northwest Totem Bracelet ~ by Owen Walker
design #9, 1 and 7/8ths inches wide.
Shipping for US & CA: $5.00
To ship outside the US or Canada, or if you require more information about this item please contact us through the email form at right. We will notify you as soon as your order is shipped.