Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Legislature Grounds - Kwakiutl Totem Pole

Kwakiutl Totem Pole
Title: Kwakiutl Totem Pole
Address: Manitoba Legislature, south grounds
Unveiled: July 20, 1971

Artist: Henry Hunt


This six-metre tall cedar totem was commissioned by the B.C. Centennial Commission and presented to Manitoba to celebrate the 100th anniversary of B.C.'s entry into confederation.

Kwakiutl Totem Pole

The base shows a chief wrapped in a ceremonial blanket, representing the foundation of the Kwakiutl people of Vancouver Island. It is topped by the Thunderbird, a symbol of power and strength.
Artist Henry Hunt (1923 - 1985) worked in a number of mediums and became chief carver for the First Nation. That artistic tradition is carried on by his four children, including Richard Hunt, and his grandchildren, such as Tony Hunt Jr.

July 21, 1971, Winnipeg Free Press

The unveiling took place on July 20, 1971 by Lieutenant Governor John McKeag. Also in attendance was Premiere Ed Schreyer and Patricia Jordan, BC MLA for North Okanagan.

By the turn of the century the totem was worn by the elements and rot had set into the wood. Local artist Dwayne Ball approached the Legislature with a plan to repair and restore it. In 2006 he spent four weeks on site doing just that.


  1. Kwakiutl art is an art that is characterized by variety, skill, and power. Masks make up a large portion of Kwakiutl art, as masks are important in the portrayal of the characters central to Kwakwaka'wakw dance ceremonies. Thanks for sharing it with us.....Kwakiutl art