What is a totem, what is its meaning and where does it come from

In movies, television series, and even animations, we have all seen the image of a totem at least once. That is a large wooden column as a post carved to form various figures, such as animal faces. However, very little is known about them.

For example, among the biggest myths about this type of monument is that they are sacred objects, that they function as a protective amulet, or that they contain the soul of deities. All this is false, explains the Indigenous Foundations website, which belongs to the University of British Columbia.

So what is a totem pole?

Totem poles are monuments created by the indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest in Canada and the United States. They serve to represent and commemorate ancestors, certain people, or events.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, these are some primary totems: memorials (to honor the former owner of a house when it changes hands), architectural elements to welcome people, or mortuaries for a deceased. There are also “shame” totems created to ridicule a person or group that committed a fault or failure in a particular circumstance (for example, today, it can be done as a protest against a politician).

Each Totem can contain one or several animal figures, representing a specific family or clan in particular. The wolf, eagle, grizzly bear, killer whale, frog, raven, and salmon are the most common animals depicted.

In some cases, totems can tell a story or legend. Each figure has its meaning, and only one clan member can tell the whole story.

Although the word “totem” refers to an ancestor or guardian who is respected, it does not necessarily mean that they are worshiped, as many people believe. Instead, the term relates to lineage.

Totem poles became popular during the early and mid-19th century.

How tall are they

Almost always, the totems measure between three and 18 meters high, although they can reach 20. However, the tallest that currently exists is 53 meters; It is located in the town of Alert Bay, belonging to British Columbia, Canada.

Although these monuments are made of solid wood, which does not rot quickly, they usually last 100 years before disintegrating.

What is a totem, and what does it mean?

In the mythology of some societies, an object of nature, generally an animal, is seen as a protective emblem of the tribe or individual or as an ancestor or parent.

What is an explanation totem for children?

Likewise, what is an explanation totem for children? A totem is an object that represents an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a family, clan, lineage, or tribe; whose value would be protective and adoring.

What are the Totem and taboo?

Totem and Taboo is the beginning of the meeting between psychoanalysis and ethnology. Ethnopsychoanalysis later emerged, and the structuralist anthropology of Claude Levi-Strauss received essential impulses from their work.

What situations did the hordes celebrate?

The hordes had the primary objective of supplying food to their components, usually about 20 or 40 people, and in this activity, they protected each other. The horde leader was always the one the group saw as the strongest.

What beliefs did the clans have?

The clan is the family unit, and its members imagine that they are jointly descended from an ancestor, often their Totem, and regard themselves as related.

How to know what the Totem of a person is?

A totem is a natural object or an animal that, in the beliefs of some cultures and civilizations, is taken as an iconic symbol of the tribe or each person. The Totem may include a variety of attributes and meanings for the linked group. These were animals of great importance.