Whitby Museum has a varied collection of items from other cultures. The collection reflects the worldwide travels of local people especially during the era of sailing ships.
The largest item among this collection is our magnificent totem pole. Totem poles were built by Native American tribes living along the Northwest Pacific coast of North America. They could measure up to 12 metres in height and were carved with images of animals and symbols showing a family’s status within the tribe. Common carvings were ravens, eagles, bears and wolves.
Our totem pole comes from Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The area was discovered by Captain James Cook. Although our totem pole does not originate from Captain Cook he is known to have seen some when he was there.
Download the activity sheets and have a go at designing your own totem pole, colour in our totem pole or make your own model using a cardboard tube and sticking objects to it, you could use symbols that are relevant to your own family. Click here for totem colouring sheet. Click here for totem design sheet.
Remember to send your finished designs, colourings and models to firstname.lastname@example.org.