Hollen - Totem
The totem poles will be an entry point from the waterfront to Heritage Square, a space encompassing the intersection of Seward and Front Streets and the surrounding area that was named by the city in 2018. Each totem pole will feature a corresponding storyboard that identifies the clan, crests, and information related to the artwork.
"This particular one is the Wooshkeetaan totem pole and its mate is the Auk totem pole, and they both sat out front of Centennial Hall from 1983 when the Centennial Hall was dedicated until this one came down in 2016. Its pair came down in 2003 and went up in the JDHS atrium stairwell."
Besides that, there are cases where this social character ismade manifest. There are societies in Australia and NorthAmerica where space is conceived in the form of an immensecircle, because the camp has a circular form; and this spatialcircle is divided up exactly like the tribal circle, and is in its[Pg 12]image. There are as many regions distinguished as there areclans in the tribe, and it is the place occupied by the clans insidethe encampment which has determined the orientation of theseregions. Each region is defined by the totem of the clan to whichit is assigned. Among the Zuñi, for example, the pueblo containsseven quarters; each of these is a group of clans which has hada unity: in all probability it was originally a single clan whichwas later subdivided. Now their space also contains sevenquarters, and each of these seven quarters of the world is inintimate connection with a quarter of the pueblo, that is to saywith a group of clans. "Thus," says Cushing, "one divisionis thought to be in relation with the north, another representsthe west, another the south," etc. Each quarter of the pueblohas its characteristic colour, which symbolizes it; each regionhas its colour, which is exactly the same as that of the correspondingquarter. In the course of history the number offundamental clans has varied; the number of the fundamentalregions of space has varied with them. Thus the social organizationhas been the model for the spatial organization and a reproductionof it. It is thus even up to the distinction betweenright and left which, far from being inherent in the nature ofman in general, is very probably the product of representationswhich are religious and therefore collective.
It was only at the end of the eighteenth century that theword totem appeared in ethnographical literature. It is foundfor the first time in the book of an Indian interpreter, J. Long,which was published in London in 1791. For nearly a half acentury, totemism was known only as something exclusivelyAmerican. It was only in 1841 that Grey, in a passage whichhas remained celebrated, pointed out the existence of whollysimilar practices in Australia. From that time on, scholarsbegan to realize that they were in the presence of a system of acertain generality.
But they saw there only an essentially archaic institution,an ethnographical curiosity, having no great interest for thehistorian. MacLennan was the first who undertook to attachtotemism to the general history of humanity. In a series ofarticles in the Fortnightly Review, he set himself to show thattotemism was not only a religion, but one from which werederived a multitude of beliefs and practices which are found inmuch more advanced religious systems. He even went so faras to make it the source of all the animal-worshipping and plant-worshippingcults which are found among ancient peoples.Certainly this extension of totemism was abusive. The cultsof animals and plants depend upon numerous causes whichcannot be reduced to one, without the error of too great simplicity.But this error, by its very exaggerations, had at leastthe advantage, that it put into evidence the historical importanceof totemism.
Students of American totemism had already known for a[Pg 89]long time that this form of religion was most intimately unitedto a determined social organization, that its basis is the divisionof the social group into clans. In 1877, in his Ancient Society,Lewis H. Morgan undertook to make a study of it, to determineits distinctive characteristics, and at the same time to pointout its generality among the Indian tribes of North and CentralAmerica. At nearly the same moment, and even following thedirect suggestion of Morgan, Fison and Howitt established theexistence of the same social system in Australia, as well as itsrelations with totemism.
Under the influence of these directing ideas, observationscould be made with better method. The researches which theAmerican Bureau of Ethnology undertook, played an importantpart in the advance of these studies. By 1887, the documentswere sufficiently numerous and significant to make Frazerconsider it time to unite them and present them to us in asystematic form. Such is the object of his little book Totemism,where the system is studied both as a religion and as a legalinstitution. But this study was purely descriptive; no effortwas made to explain totemism or to understand its fundamentalnotions.
Robertson Smith is the first who undertook this work ofelaboration. He realized more clearly than any of his predecessorshow rich this crude and confused religion is in germs forthe future. It is true that MacLennan had already connectedit with the great religions of antiquity; but that was merelybecause he thought he had found here and there the cult ofanimals or plants. Now if we reduce totemism to a sort ofanimal or plant worship, we have seen only its most superficialaspect: we have even misunderstood its real nature. Going[Pg 90]beyond the mere letter of the totemic beliefs, Smith set himselfto find the fundamental principles upon which they depend.In his book upon Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, hehad already pointed out that totemism supposes a likeness innature, either natural or acquired, of men and animals (or plants).In his The Religion of the Semites, he makes this same idea thefirst origin of the entire sacrificial system: it is to totemism thathumanity owes the principle of the communion meal. It is truethat the theory of Smith can now be shown one-sided; it is nolonger adequate for the facts actually known; but for all that,it contains an ingenious theory and has exercised a most fertileinfluence upon the science of religions. The Golden Bough ofFrazer is inspired by these same ideas, for totemism, whichMacLennan had attached to the religions of classical antiquity,and Smith to the religions of the Semitic peoples, is here connectedto the European folk-lore. The schools of MacLennanand Morgan are thus united to that of Mannhardt.
During this time, the American tradition continued to developwith an independence which it has kept up until very recenttimes. Three groups of societies were the special object of theresearches which were concerned with totemism. These are,first, certain tribes of the North-west, the Tlinkit, the Haida, theKwakiutl, the Salish and the Tsimshian; then, the great nationof the Sioux; and finally, the Pueblo Indians in the south-westernpart of the United States. The first were studied principallyby Dall, Krause, Boas, Swanton, Hill Tout; the secondby Dorsey; the last by Mindeleff, Mrs. Stevenson and Cushing.But however rich the harvest of facts thus gathered in all partsof the country may have been, the documents at our disposalwere still fragmentary. Though the American religions containnumerous traces of totemism, they have passed the stage of realtotemism. On the other hand, observations in Australia hadbrought little more than scattered beliefs and isolated rites,initiation rituals and interdictions relative to totemism. It waswith facts taken from all these sources that Frazer attempted todraw a picture of totemism in its entirety. Whatever may bethe incontestable merit of the reconstruction undertaken in[Pg 91]such circumstances, it could not help being incomplete andhypothetical. A totemic religion in complete action had not yetbeen observed. 781b155fdc