This week’s McKinleyville Press includes an entire page dedicated to the McKinleyville Totem Pole and all the characters on it. A list of characters, starting with the top, includes Thunderbird, Redheaded Woodpecker, Coyote, Blue Jay, Frog (with fire), Crow, Beaver, Owl and Grizzly Bear.
But below Grizzly Bear is this mysterious character. It’s not included in Ernest Pierson’s 1962 book “My Story, By The McKinleyville Totem Pole,” so it probably wasn’t on the pole when it was first erected. Sometime in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Pierson took the totem pole down to make repairs and recarve it. It may have been added then.
Ernest Pierson’s daughter, Anne Pierson, said she doesn’t know what it is. Duane Flatmo, who repainted the pole in 1998, also said it’s a mystery. If anyone knows the story behind this character, contact the Press.