Grand Hall tour

Photograph: Chris Payne, AC98-106, SD-157
The Totem Pole Gambalch

Photograph: Chris Payne

The Totem Pole Gambalch

History of the Pole

Meaning of the Figures

Conservation and Restoration

The Replacement Pole

(Terms in italics are Tsimshian)

Name Of The Pole
The pole Gambalch has been described by several names, such as "The Pole of Kuksdedalreh" and "Hat-of-Tsagyem-hanak" (lying woman). It has also been referred to as the "Helmer pole", after the art dealer who sold it to the Museum. The meaning of the first two names should become apparent through the explanation of the figures carved into the pole. Gambalch refers to an alpine area in the saddle of Segukla (Zukla) mountain, which lies behind the village of Gitsegukla. The area is part of the hereditary territory of the House of Gim-sta-lox and, hence, the pole is a symbol of their ownership of the area.


    Research and Text - Barry W. E. Bragg Ph.D.
    Web Page Production - Sandra Hammel