It was a year late and had to be lowered through the ceiling. Blindly guided by a crane outside and standing 23-feet tall, it needed to land on a post sticking up from the floor. The totem pole entered through a small skylight (a little like Operation), coming to rest in its new home at the Museum, in 1996. There was a quick debate that day about putting the skylight into place. Night had fallen and weather looked fine. The team placed the skylight anyway. That night, a snowstorm came in, blanketing the valley in white, totem safe and dry inside.
Marvin Oliver constructed the piece from Red Cedar, calling it Teton, “the place where legends are born.” Next time you visit, look for the master of the forest, or the flying raven with the moon. The copper piece represents the gifts of this valley. You, for instance.