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  • 7. Yaadass Crest -Second Twin

    A figure of the Village Watchman at the top is unique to Haida crest poles and has no significance or relationship to the crests. It was intended to let the people know that they were being watched over and will be protected. The clan chief’s hat worn by the Watchman is often mistakenly thought to be the high-crowned silk hat of 19th century fashion. This error also leads to the conclusion that the figure of the Village Watchman represents either President Lincoln or his Secretary of State William H. Seward who brokered the purchase of Alaska. The carved hat worn by the Town Watchman is intended to represent the conical chief’s hat that was carved of wood or woven of spruce roots and topped by a series of rings carved into the wood or cylinders woven of spruce roots and attached such that the cylinders swayed as the wearer of the hat danced. Each cylinder or ring indicates the number of potlatches that have been given. The greater the number of cylinders on the chief’s hat, the greater the status of the clan. As on Pole #3 (this pole’s twin on Totem Loop Trail), the crests on this pole include Raven sitting in human form below the Watchman, representing the lineage of the family which owned the pole. Below is Raven as the bird raven, and finally the bear at the bottom which holds an animal in its mouth.