Custom Totem Poles

Gallery Co-owner Walter Stolting walks you through the steps
for ordering a custom Northwest Coast Totem Pole


Totem Poles can be custom ordered and designed for your indoor or outdoor spaces. A totem pole often tells a story or legend through representations of symbols, including animals, mythological beings, and humans. The wood to create a pole is traditionally blessed, and a ceremony is often held when the pole is raised on-site. They are traditionally carved in red cedar, can be painted or unpainted, and vary widely in size (usually 5 - 50 feet long), design and meaning.

Totem Poles are monumental cultural objects that represent and commemorate stories, ancestry, histories, people, achievement or events. There are seven principal types of totem poles: memorial poles (erected when a house changes hands to commemorate the past owner and to identify the present one), house posts (which support the roof), portal poles (which have a hole through which a person enters the house), welcoming poles (often placed at the edge of a territory or a body of water to identify the owner), mortuary poles (grave markers), and ridicule or shaming poles (on which an important individual who had failed in some way had his likeness carved and depicted in a belittling way).

The below video features a behind-the-scenes tour of the studio of Chief Calvin Hunt, a highly respected and acclaimed Northwest Coast artist from Fort Rupert, BC. You will see him walk you through his studio, and get an inside peek into how this custom totem pole was created.


Email the gallery at or call us toll free at 1-877-338-2120 to discuss custom options and help bring your vision to life.