Booklist for Educators: Native Americans of the Northwest Coast
From the Land of the Totem Poles: The Northwest Coast Indian Art Collection at the American Museum of Natural History
By Aldona Jonaitis, Photographs by Stephen S. Meyers
The story of the development of the collection of Northwest Coast Indian art at the American Museum of Natural History, with color and archival photographs.
University of Washington Press and the American Museum of Natural History, Seattle, 1988
Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast
By Hilary Stewart
An illustrated introduction to the design elements of Northwest Coast art. Includes interpretations of the myths and legends that shape the design motifs, and a discussion of differences in styles between the major cultural groups.
University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1979
Looking at Totem Poles of the Northwest Coast
By Hilary Stewart, with forward by Norman Tait.
A guide to 110 totem poles in British Columbia and Alaska. Includes a general introduction, drawings of the poles, and a short discussion of the history and iconography of each pole.
University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1993
Mythic Beings: Spirit Art of the Northwest Coast
By Gary Wyatt
A selection of 75 works in different media depicting mythic beings, by 34 First Nations artists. Provides insights into the cosmology of the Northwest Coast. The artists describe each work's meaning and cultural significance in their own words.
Douglas & McIntyre and University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1999
Our Chiefs and Elders: Words and Photographs of Native Leaders
By David Neel
Kwakiutl photographer David Neel places black-and-white portraits of Northwest Coast chiefs and elders next to interviews in which they discuss the present and reminisce about the past.
University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, 1992
Totem Pole Carving: Bringing a Log to Life
Documentation of the process for creating a 42-foot-high ceremonial totem pole, which was carved by artist Norman Tait for a doorway at the Native Education Centre in Vancouver.
Douglas & McIntyre, Seattle, 1997
Totem Poles: An Illustrated Guide
By Marjorie Halpin
The significance of totem poles as both important cultural symbols and as art. A guide to interpreting the carved motifs and distinguishing the features that indicate the carver's skill and his or her tribal origin.
University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1983
Copyright © 2004 American Museum of Natural History. All rights reserved.
More About This Resource...
This booklist for educators has seven books that are recommended for learning more about Native Americans of the Northwest Coast. A short description is given for each title, along with author name and publisher. The list includes:
- illustrated looks at design motifs and artistic styles
- profiles of artists working in a variety of media
- guides to myths and legends, including examinations of cosmology
- portraits and interviews with Northwest Coast chiefs and elders
Supplement a study of cultural anthropology with a classroom activity drawn from this booklist for educators.
- Select one of the books that includes interpretations of design motifs or totems.
- Share student-friendly examples with the class, discussing the use of symbolism and other visual language.
- Divide the class into small groups, and challenge students to create a design motif or totem that represents your school's history.
- Have the groups share their creations with the class in brief presentations.
- End by discussing as a class any themes that emerged from the presentations.
OriginTotems to Turquoise