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Storytelling Totem Poles at Epcot Canada Pavilion
Two new totem poles were recently installed at the Walt Disney World Epcot Canada Pavilion. Carved by Tsimshian artisan David Boxley, who previously created a totem pole for the pavilion’s Trading Post in the 1990s, the two new additions each have a unique story to tell.
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.