About Us

About Us

Description of the figures of the Totem Pole (top to bottom)

The Raven (Rhawa’: The main crest of the Hunt family.
A man (Pigwanum) carrying the frog (Wug’achi)
The sea Eagle (kwigwis)
The Grizzly bear (Gula) holding the seal (Mi’gwet)
The killer whale of black fish (Rhwa’wyem)
The giant cannibal bird of heaven (Hok-Hok)
The Wild Woman (Tsonoqua) holding a “copper
The double headed sea serpent (Sisiut)


The original Hunt Totem Pole stood at Fort Rupert, once the main village of the Kwakiutl Nation
The pole was about 60 feet tall and carved by Charlie James. It belonged to David Hunt, and after his death was passed on to Tommy Hunt, the uncle of Henry Hunt. It stood for over 30 years before it had to be taken down because of dry-out. The pole was cut into sections and stored under a house, which later burned to the ground, and destroyed the original Hunt Totem Pole.

Our Totem Pole was carved by the Hunt Family. It is 85 feet tall, making it one of the tallest authentic totem poles in the world. It weighs more than 6,300 kilograms (14,000 pounds), and is buried approximately 15 cubic meters (20 cubic yards) of heavily reinforced concrete. The pole is made entirely from one tree. Except for the two beaks, the whales’ dorsal fin, and the two pairs of ears. The original tree was a giant red cedar, over 1.8 meters (6 feet) in diameter at the base, and over 45 meters (150) feet long. It was found in a stand of 6 equal-sized, giant red cedar trees in the Nitinat Lake region of central Vancouver Island. The tree was cut during normal commercial logging of the area in the spring of 1973, and saved for carving purposes. The bottom end of this carving log was flared and full of dry-rot. The end was cut off, and the outer stringy bark and sap layer were removed and the log was rounded off its carving dimensions 1.3 meters (4 feet), base .76 meter (2.5 feet) top, and 26 meter (8.5 foot) length.

After the carving log was trucked to Thunder Bird Park, Victoria, BC, Henry Hunt was commissioned to carve the totem pole. Mr. Hunt was an associate carver to the late, world-famous carver Mungo Martin. Henry was assisted by hi son Richard, and son-in-law John Livingston. The three men spent over three months hand carving and painting the pole, using traditional Kwakitul carving tools and weather resistant oil based paints.

 Our totem pole was transported by truck from Victoria to the resort, and was placed and raised in its present position in the fall of 1973. Red cedar is very weather resistant and after the base was treated for dry-rot and set in concrete, our Totem Pole should stand for over 100 years.

There are many types of totem poles: story poles, grave memorial poles, crest poles, and potlatch type. The combination of figures used by the Hunt family may tell a story, but it is so old that no one remembers it. It is more a display of family crests put up during a potlatch for family recognition and prestige.