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The Tlingit Indians of the Northwest Coast carved interior house posts, portal entrances and free standing totem poles with crests of animals, sea creatures, birds, legendary and human figures, successfully combining symbolism and realism. This book examines the social and artistic relevance of the Tlingit carving and relates many of the fascinating North American Indian legends upon which some of the carvings are based.
The insignia of the Pacific Northwest Coast cultures is the "Totem Pole." Historically, and continuing to the present time, eight different Indian groups inhabit an area extending from Yakutat Bay in southeastern Alaska to the Straits of Juan de Fuca lying off the north coast of Washington state; they comprise the Nootka, Kwakiutl, Tsimshian, Haida, Bella Coola, Salish, Makah and Tlingit.