Ridgeline's Totem Pole
Totem Animals and Their Meanings
The Watchers serves as guardians, diligently safeguarding the village by warning its inhabitants to potential threats or dangers. In essence, The Watchers on the totem pole stands as a symbol of collective safety, emphasizing the importance of vigilance and communal protection in the face of potential challenges.
Red Tail Hawk
The hawk symbol on the totem pole is a powerful embodiment of various attributes: strength, courage, leadership, and prestige. As a totemic representation, the hawk's presence conveys not only physical prowess and bravery but also a sense of wisdom, acute perception, and a commitment to the collective well-being of the community. This is a very rare animal to see represented on totem poles. The NATIVES team working on the creation of the totem pole felt that it deserved to be there because it is the Ridgeline mascot.
The Red Tailed Fox
The red-tailed fox symbol on the totem pole encompasses a rich array of qualities, prominently featuring empathy, which played a pivotal role in its selection by the students. Beyond its empathetic nature, research highlights that the red-tailed fox is traditionally recognized as a trickster, weaving a narrative of agility, quick-wittedness, diplomacy, and the art of camouflage.
The bobcat symbol on the totem pole encapsulates many characteristics. Renowned for its fierce independence, the bobcat embodies an unwavering spirit of self-reliance. Additionally, it symbolizes impeccable hunting skills. The bobcat, as a totemic representation, is associated with introspection, encouraging individuals to seek inner wisdom and self-discovery. Furthermore, the tenacity of the bobcat serves as a potent reminder of resilience in the face of adversity, making it a compelling symbol on the totem pole.
The raven holding the sun on the totem pole represents a blend of power and intelligence. Research indicates that the raven is symbolically tied to introspection, courage, and self-knowledge. This totem gains significance as it's linked to a Native story explaining the Sun's origin. The raven, holding the Sun, serves as an emblem of celestial creation and prompts reflection on the interplay between cosmic forces and fundamental human qualities.
As a totemic representation, the wolf encapsulates not only a keen intellect and leadership qualities but also a profound commitment to familial bonds. Its portrayal on the totem pole serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring values of loyalty, perseverance through challenges, the pursuit of success, intuitive wisdom, and a deep spiritual connection.
As a totemic representation, the beaver not only reflects the virtues of persistence and adaptability but also brings forth a narrative of resolute determination, exceptional building skills, diligent oversight, and a natural inclination towards protection. Its presence on the totem pole serves as a potent reminder of these qualities, encouraging contemplation on the harmonious balance of industriousness and guardianship in the natural world.
The Adult Bear
The bear symbol on the totem pole represents strength and courage. The bear embodies qualities of introspection, healing, and protective instincts.
The Baby Bear
The bear cub symbol on a totem pole conveys a sense of innocence, playfulness, and the promise of future strength. The carvers felt that the bear cub would be a fitting representation of the entering Ridgeline kindergarteners.
The Adult Bear Holding The Bear Cub
The symbol of an adult bear holding a bear cub on a totem pole is a representation of love, learning, protection, and nurturing. This symbol celebrates the role of teachers, highlighting the interconnectedness of generations.
Totem poles like this do not accurately depict the authentic Native culture of western Oregon. The Kalapuya people possess their own rich artistic and intellectual traditions, actively participating in various regional projects. Unlike totem poles, the Kalapuya culture historically utilized Power Poles, imbued with profound significance within local communities that have thrived in this region for over 10,000 years. Many symbols featured on this particular pole originate from coastal tribes in the Pacific Northwest and were thoughtfully selected by Ridgeline students in collaboration with the 4J NATIVES program staff and Vic Hansen, who apprenticed with carver David Boxley of the Tsimshiam Tribe.
Ridgeline strives to acknowledge and celebrate the rich indigenous culture of native students, recognizing the diverse backgrounds within the 4J school district. With approximately 785 students representing 150 tribes from across North America, the commitment to respectful representation is viewed as a positive endeavor, fostering inclusivity and appreciation for the cultural diversity within the student body.