The totem pole, despite being widely misunderstood, has secured a place in popular culture. The ubiquitous phrase “low man on the totem pole” is used in daily conversation, popular songs and television shows. The totem pole was never a ranking system, and hierarchy was not demonstrated based on a figure’s location on the pole. Totem poles were a means to tell a story, mark an event or keep history.
Cultural Tourism is a reaction to how the totem pole has been replicated and packaged for quick sale as trinkets in tourist shops. Used as bottle openers or appropriated into fashion, the motorized dancing totem pole reflects my discomfort upon viewing these disfigured tourist items.