I am very interested in art and will be visiting as many totem centres whilst on my visit to Ketchikan. I am particularly interested in the story of the William Seward shame pole at Saxman Native Village, Ketchikan.
Can anyone refer me to an reputable Alaskan Historian, book or other so that I can read the whole story of this shame totem? I'm interested in people using art as a political statement. Some references have stated that Sewards disgrace was based on 'being a guest at a potlatch and not returning the favor (he received five boat loads of gifts including totem poles and canoes' yet he did not reciprocate or even send a thank you note. Also, does anyone know where the original totem is located?
Of further interest to me is the more recent shame pole carved by Alaskan fisherman and part-Tlingit Mike Webber, 'depicting Exxon CEO Lee Raymond upside-down, for refusing to pay court-awarded damages related to the Exxon Valdez spill' in Prince William Sound.
I think it is amazing that we have historical archives (& access to the internet these days) for modern art but I am finding information on the older art more challenging, especially being from another country.
Any suggestions for resources would be greatly appreciated :) Thank youEdited: 02 February 2014, 00:24