Joseph Hillaire (Lummi, 1894-1967) is recognized as one of the great Coast Salish artists, carvers, and tradition-bearers of the twentieth century. In A Totem Pole History, his daughter Pauline Hillaire, Sc+ñlla-Of the Killer Whale, who is herself a well-known cultural historian and conservator, tells the story of her father's life and the traditional and contemporary Lummi narratives that influenced his work.
A Totem Pole History contains seventy-six photographs, including Joe's most significant totem poles, many of which Pauline watched him carve. She conveys with great insight the stories, teachings, and history expressed by her father's totem poles. Eight contributors provide essays on Coast Salish art and carving, adding to the author's portrayal of Joe's philosophy of art in Salish life, particularly in the context of twentieth century intercultural relations.
This engaging volume provides an historical record to encourage Native artists and brings the work of a respected Salish carver to the attention of a broader audience.