Animal Totem Dolls
of a Kind
So... What IS a Totem Animal?
Deep in the bowels of the Earth, scrawled upon the innermost walls of caverns
are prehistoric renderings depicting
Tribes of Humans interacting with Tribes of Animals.
In those days, there was not so much an academic "belief system"
as there was the direct experience that:
"Man is not above Nature, Man is ONE with Nature."
This lofty idea was embraced by Members of Nature such as the Saber-toothed Tiger,
who regularly became ONE with Mankind...
It is written in the stones that this planet pretty much belonged to the Animals
for ka-drillions of years before Human Beings arrived.
When the Humans finally got here, the animals ate them.
"There was no separation between Man and Animal!"
"Animals, regardless of culture and location, teach us by example."
Foraging, leaping around, hunting, reproducing... well!
As time passed, prehistorical Humans enjoyed the benefits of surviving,
and, as students of the Animals,
lunching alongside the herds during those lazy afternoons on the plains,
it was natural for them to fondly regard their Animal Mentors as
The word "Totem" means "Brother Sister Kin"
So, we can think of Totem Animals as
And a Totem Pole as a Family Tree.
Somewhere along the line a Taboo
against eating one's own Family Members arose,
and this, (not always, but) often included the Tribe's Totem Animal.
In fact, the Clan Totem Animal became a Symbol for Clan Solidarity!
(think: Budweiser Clydesdales)
Right. There you go. So they had the Bear Clan and the Deer Clan and the Wolf Clan,
like now we have the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins-
you know, Elephants over here, Donkeys over there...
the similarity being...
The Group Identity is Represented by an Animal.
So, What is a TOTEM ANIMAL?
...a Member of the Tribe, a Companion, a Muse for Cave Art...
Sacred Guide who appears in Dreams and tells the Tribe where to hunt...
(for Other species...)
an Object fashioned into the shape of an Animal
which Symbolizes one's Identity
...a crest, a totem pole, an emblem, a small figurine
or anything else that depicts or represents the Admired Qualities or
Spirit of the Animal.
Old Indian Legend say...
"In the distant past there was no
separation between man and animal."
"Animal teachers will become noticeable when it is time."
"One needs to be perceptive
and aware when one sees animals that catch one's attention
and stand out above the perceived norm."
Dollmaker, Kandra Niagra
Slideshow of the Wee Peeple Dolls
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