Transcript - Sag̱aw̓een Pole, Git'iks

My name is Richard Morgan. My Nisg̱a’a name is Goagyaehl. I am standing in front of Sganisim Sim’oogit’s pole, Sag̱aw̓een pole. This was carved by Oyee about 1870. He was my great-great-great grandfather. He was a great carver – carved many poles well over 60 feet. Most prolific carver on the Nass.

On the bottom of this pole we have [Aitl] getting grabbed by a kal’un and underneath it is a devil fish or octopus. It appears to be octopus. We can’t see it right now, but up above it is the head of the octopus. Up above that is the cormorant, the crest that used to be of Chief Mountain and a few Lax̱sgiik chiefs – Lax̱luuks chiefs. That cormorant is now a crest of the house of Maalii of Gitanyow, Kitwancool. It was given to Maalii due to uhh Ksiiskw, for a murder somewhere around 1880.

This pole, this is the forth figure, the spirit halibut, Nax̱nogam txooii. Some people call it the Gwinhuut eagle, nax̱nogim txooii. This one was called Sgagiim g̱an doox Hagwil̓ooḵ’m ts’imaks. That’s the eagle-like figure and on his belly is Gunas, the great great great grandfather of Chief Mountain who dies getting swallowed by the halibut.

And up above it is Aitl, who drowned by the kal’un, the shell fish. And above that is Aitl sitting and on his belly is Gunas his nephew. The figure below Gunas is the uncle of Gunas who sang the lomoii. The Tlingit lomoii when they were coming down from Tlingit territory before they reached the Nass River.

We’re standing by the seventh and eight figure of Sganisim Sim’oogit pole. This is a M̓asḵ’ayaay̓t, a giant bullhead. Described on their migration down as a giant bullhead with many faces on it. As you see, faces on the tail, faces on the horns. There are spikes protruding from the back of the M̓asḵ’ayaay̓t as you can see.

He is swallowing a halibut, Nax̱noogam Txoox. Above that is wil’eek, the headdress of Hlidax̱, who combined with Chief Mountain to raise this beautiful pole in a battle with Sii Sbiguut of the Killerwhales. Seems to represent the headdress that Hlidax would have worn because wil’eek is one of the crests of the Gibuus [Wolf tribe]. Hlidax̱ got adopted by Laay̓ into his house, but he took the name Hlidax̱ but he remained a wolf.

This is a tenth figure, Uwait, which represents a supernatural wooden man that Chief Mountain’s family encountered on their way from Tlingit territory up north of the Nass River. As you know, they have inlaid abalone all through the centre of the man’s face. He was considered quiet harmless. Above him is Gadim hlaxwhl aks holding on to Ḵ’aat, a supernatural shark with a man inside his mouth. There are two versions of this actually. The Lax̱luuks Lax̱sgiik. One version has it the man Gadim hlaxwhl aks is holding onto two spring salmon in his hands.

Above it is five faces around the Gadim hlaxwhl aks head, and above it is the eagle, the crest they acquired over three hundred years ago on their way down from the coast – the north coast to the Nass – and there is a face on the eagle’s chest there.


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