Mysteries abound throughout life. Some are solved with ready answers. Others have theories that are continually tested. Others will never have answers.
Such is the case for the Yaadaas Crest Corner Poles. Two seemingly identical poles stood at the exterior front corners of the Yaadaas clan house in Old Kasaan on Prince of Wales Island. This was uncommon. And it is the only set known to exist.
More baffling are the questions:
“Did one person carve the two poles?”
“Is it possible to have two different carvers come up with the same finished product?”
With the addition of replicas of the twins completed by three different artists in 1978 and 1982, and with the designs being the same, it is easier to see the known artists of today executing the same design with an individual touch. It is possible that two different carvers produced the original twin corner poles. Is it probable?
This pole is believed to be a crest pole portraying the heraldic emblems of the Yaadaas clan of the Kaigani Haida. The human figure at the top is the Village Watchman. Below the Watchman is Raven in human form. The next figure is also Raven, while the base figure appears to be a bear holding an animal in its mouth. The figures below the Watchman may be crests of the clan who owned the house, and could represent incidents in the real or mythical history of the clan.