Talking totems

It was completely incongruous. Music blared from the white tarpaulin covered tent just past the hairdressing school, and a wooden head poked out one end of it.

I retraced my steps and lifted the plastic sheet protecting the people and the totem from the rain, and with a friendly smile I was waved in.

The totem – in creation – was magnificent. I could smell the wood shavings that had been chipped off it. I could see the grain of the wood under the nicks. And I could touch the alternating rough and smooth texture under my fingertips. Just magnificent.

There were two totems being carved side by side, and the creator of the second shared how the top part would be a whale hunter – with a bone tipped harpoon – and the lower half a wolf. I was fascinated by the hands of the whale hunter curved into fists around the harpoon. Huge fingers, and the nails at the tips of them were the size of my palm.

Having to crick your neck as far back as it will go to see a totem standing tall is an incredible experience.

But watching someone carve it is indescribable.

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