The Art of Totem Poles

In the Haida culture, the cedar tree is known as the 'tree of life'. Traditionally, when babies were born, they were placed in cedar boxes. When people died, their bodies were also placed in cedar boxes. The bark of the trees has many other uses as well. It can be woven into ropes, baskets and hats. These trees are also used for one of the well-known symbols of Haida culture - totem poles. Haida totem poles tell a story through the representation of human, animal and supernatural figures.