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U990.4.1
Artist / Maker : Elliott, Charles W.; Temosen-thut
Title : S,yewe History Pole
Date (Execution) : 1990
Geographical Origin : Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Group : Coast Salish, Saanich (WSÁNEĆ), Tsartlip
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Cedar; stone
Support / Technique : carved; painted
Object Type : totem poles; carvings (visual works)
Visual Description : The pole can be divided into 4 or 5 sections. The top-most image is a fully-carved sculpture while the images below it are carved in more a relief-sculpture manner. All carving extends the full circumference. The pole depicts a Saanich legend connected with the lands near the University, which is traditional Salish territory.
Accession # : U990.4.1
Width (cm) : 0.00
Height (cm) : 780.00
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit : University of Victoria Acquisition Fund
Artist Statement : A long, long time ago, when out land was still heavy with forest, one young man, SWIWLES,S, became a new dancer. He was a very good dancer. He had a good style (S, IY, LE). His people were very proud of his dancing. When the moon of the Frog (WEXES) came along it was time to end the dancing season (PELKOE). The new dancers would then venture into the forest and take their uniforms off. They would put their hats on their canes and place them in the hollow of a cedar tree. It was at this time the creator (XALS) appeared to SWIWLES,S and he told him that his style was very good; that through his bathing, venturing into the forest, and keeping a clean mind he would receive a gift for his goodness. The gift SWIWLES,S would receive would enable him to foretell the future. He would become a S,YEWE. The creator warned him never to tell anyone of the gift he received. So the young man returned home happy and excited about the gift he had received. When he and his wife went to bed that night he could no longer contain his excitement. he thought to himself, that if he whispered in his wife's ear, no one would hear. The moment he whispered into his wife's ear, he realized that he had wronged the Creator. The very next morning, SWIWLES,S and his wife packed their things and put them in their canoe. They paddled towards Cordova Bay and when they arrived the creator spoke to them from amongst the Blue Herons at Point Roberts. The young man told his wife not to listen. He said, "Get off the canoe and we will go up into the forest and hide." Since they did not stop, the creator became angry. He cast a Quentoles (stone) at them. Just as SWIWLES,S was pushing his wife up the hill the round black rock struck them and they turned into stone. Today one can still see the pair pushing each other up the hill the with Qentoles lodged in the man, at Cordova Bay. Told by Philip Pelkey Interpreted by Earl Claxton Sr. Written & edited by John Elliott and Linda Underwood