Nahanni 1965 Totem Pole
This miniature totem pole was a gift for Mr. Frank Graves of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who features in my documentary ‘Interview with a Cryptid Hunter‘. This piece represents Mr. Graves’ 1965 expedition to the infamous Nahanni Valley, in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
The top and bottom animals on the totem pole are the raven and the wolf- the clan houses of most Dene tribes in the Canadian North.
I gave the raven what Northwest Coast cavers call “Horns of Power”. These horns are only included on characters with supernatural capabilities, and make the raven a Thunderbird as well, in accordance with Graves’ theory regarding the nature of that latter creature.
The wolf also represents the giant Mackenzie timber wolf Graves encountered with Mickey Kraus- the animal upon which the legend of the Waheela is based.
Peeking out from in between the raven and the wolf is the Wildman. This figure represents the reason for Graves’ participation in the Nahanni expedition, as well as the Little People stories that the Dene Indians told him at Nahanni Butte.