Gitwangak is the newer, more native way to spell Kitwanga.
I spent more than half of 1974 in Kitwanga. I returned briefly in 1988 and 2007.
I have a general Kitwanga page. Here I concentrate on the native art.
Between the CNR tracks and the Skeena River one finds a row of totem poles.
As is common along the Skeena, there is little or no signage for these wooden monuments.
When I worked in the train station I became blasé about seeing them almost every day;
but the very next year I visited the British Museum.
I was surprised there to see an entire wall covered with a Kitwanga street scene photograph.
I then realized just how very special this town is.
Kitwanga, British Columbia 1974:
Most of the following pictures were taken in June 2007.
The first pole is isolated near the site of the old train station.
The totem on the ground is at the end of the standing poles.
The Skeena River is between the cars and the trees.
The view with the red roofs is looking across the street from the line of totem poles.
Larger pole pictures follow with close-ups; I move along the line from left to right.
Some things change very slowly along the Skeena River.
Cedar poles might collapse in the rain but copies are often made and raised in the same location.
At the Canadian Museum of Civilization
web site I found a photo of Kitwanga about 1899.
About half of the totems seen there can still be identified in my recent photos.
I found two totems online as painted by Emily Carr about 1915.
I thought that it was interesting to compare the same poles as seen in her version,
and as seen in my photos from 1974 and 2007.
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