According to a contemporary folk tale, the mischievous Raven is responsible for stealing fire from the Deer Chief and, with effort from fellow animals, spreading its use across the region.
With that story in mind, totem creator and carver Dale Faulstich had the concept for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s newest totem, now towering next to the Blyn Fire Station.
Faulstich, a veteran of about 50 poles, said projects like these get started when the tribe asks him for a totem. He generally researches a story and then creates a drawing that he shows to a tribal council. With approval, he moves on to a scale model and finally the finished project.
That’s when even more work kicks in, as he takes up to 12 months to do the carving. This one was tough in particular, Faulstich said.
“You normally don’t have two poles back to back,” he said, eyeing the project in late February. “It’s got to be in position perfectly to work.”