This totem pole was one of more than one hundred and once stood in the village of Tuxecan on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The island was inhabited by the Tlingit people. In 1931, John Barrymore stole the pole from the unoccupied village while on a trip along the Alaskan coast. When Barrymore passed away, Vincent bought the totem pole and used it to decorate his yard. They later donated it to the Honolulu Museum of Art.
This totem pole was used for burials. After professor Steve Langdon saw a picture of Vincent standing next to the pole, he became interested in it. With permission from tribal leaders, Langdon examined the pole. On Thursday, it was returned to tribal members. Tribal member Eva Rowan told the Associated Press, “”It gives my heart great peace that my ancestors can go home,” she said. “I feel my father’s people here. I feel my grandfather’s people here, giving us strength right now.”
A fitting end to the story of the mysterious totem pole once owned by the Master of Menace, I think.