January 23rd, 2017 Last Updated on: April 14th, 2019
The Candian pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park has always featured magnificent totem poles. The current poles have been in place since the early 1990s. They were designed by Tsimshian artisan David Boxley.
On January 20, 2017, two new totem poles were installed by Disney. The new poles were also designed by Boxley.
The Eagle Totem Pole tells one of Boxley’s favorite cultural tales, in which a boy finds an eagle caught in a net on a beach and frees it. Years later, when hunger strikes the boy’s tribe, he walks on the same beach, only to find the eagle there waiting for him with food – paying him back for his kindness years ago. The bottom of this totem pole also tells the story of how a family of beaver taught a human family the importance of treating all creatures – human and animal – with respect. The Whale Totem Pole depicts the tale of the first potlatch, a ceremonial feast celebrated by the Nagunaks and creatures of the undersea world. –Disney Parks Blog
The Git Hoan Dancers (People of the Salmon) from Washington performed at the dedication of the totem poles and several times throughout the weekend.
Photos by Lou Mongello and Erica Luck
Videos by Erica Luck
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