We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

Which Ketchikan hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,534 posts
40 reviews
Save Topic
Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

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.

mesocosm.net/2012/…

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 you

Edited: 02 February 2014, 00:24
Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
15,601 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

G'day Peter,

Your project had me intrigued, and with the marvels of the internet I think I have located the Seward pole for you. Go to the Saxman Village website linked below and to the right of screen there is a link to a map and description of the poles in the park. There is one known as 'Seward' showing as #13 near the Clan House. Whether it is the original or not I don't know.

experienceketchikan.com/native-american-tote…

But perhaps you already had this information? Still, I have learnt something today. :)

Edited: 02 February 2014, 00:53
Ketchikan
Destination Expert
for Ketchikan
Level Contributor
2,237 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

First up, Pat Kramer has a great book about Totem Poles in SE and elsewhere called "Totem Poles." There are some local history articles about the Saxman poles and Seward, but no firsthand accounts of the stories behind certain poles. Remember, it was and still is largely an oral culture in SE Alaska among Native American groups. Also, the poles themselves are historic only because they date back to the beginning of the park which was built as a Works Progress Administration program during the Great Depression and most of them have been replaced several times over because of our brutal climate for wood. Historically totem poles and indeed historic or ceremonial sites were left to the earth and examples of those poles can be seen at the Totem Heritage Center where some good items are preserved.

sitnews.us/Kiffer/…071210_tourism_pt1.html

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
15,601 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

I was hoping that you would drop by, rainbirdreader.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,534 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

Excellent, that's exactly the book I got our local library to order in for me . Thanks again everyone, PW

5. Re: Seward SHAME Pole @ Saxman Native Village & EXXON Shame Pole

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 February 2015, 06:18