The way we live in our society is to divide ourselves into families. Our immediate family and our relatives are our “group”. But there are many primitive groups of people who divide themselves differently.
Among such people, there art “tribes”, and all members of a tribe are considered to be related. This relationship may be real, or they may just decide to call themselves related.
These groups usually have an “ancestor”, who may be a kind of mythical human being, and the deeds of this ancestor are glorified through the ages. Or this “ancestor” may be an animal or even a plant or natural object!
Usually, the tribe is descended either from an ancestor who had a special relationship with a certain animal or from the animal itself. In such cases, the group takes its name front the animal, and its symbol becomes the badge or “totem” of the group. The animal is called “the totem animal”. Such a group is known as a “totemic tribe”.
Many of the tribes have carved and painted totem poles. They may show the totem animal or ancestor and other beings important in the story of the tribe. The totem pole is usually set up in the village to give the tribe prestige and to show their pride in their ancestor.
People who live in such totemic tribes have different practices in different parts of the world. As a rule, members of the same tribe are not allowed to marry. The children belong to the mother’s tribe, and not the father’s.
What Is The Most Important Part Of A Totem Pole?
The bottom figure on a totem pole is the most important one.