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Bis Pole: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This is a ritual bis pole created to honor a recently deceased, important member of society. The family commissions an artist to carve a pole out of a single piece of wild nutmeg tree, representing clan members who have passed on. Its shape evokes a canoe, the main mode of transportation for the living and the dead, and a vehicle to take the spirit to the next world. The pole is displayed at a great community ceremony and a mock battle is staged around its base to appease any restless spirits. Then it is ritually disposed of, its purpose complete.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009