Canadian Totem at Chapultepec

True, there is an original Canadian totem pole in the heart of Mexico City. In fact, it is in the most emblematic park of the city: the Forest of Chapultepec. The totem was carved by members of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, an indigenous people of the province of British Columbia Canada.

The totem of the Forest of Chapultepec measures 11 meters of height and was elaborated in the traditional way. It was carved on a red cedar trunk and its contrasting dark and light colors (black, red, green, white and yellow) are traditionally used by the Kwakwaka’wakw nation.

This totem is distinguished by its outstanding elements – peaks, limbs and wings – and is made up of an otter, a snake and a man of cedar. As crown, the totem of the Forest of Chapultepec has the effigy of a “Thunderbird” (Bird of the Thunder). The Thunderbird is a mythical bird that appears in the legends of the clan Kwakwaka’wakw from time immemorial.

It was donated in 1960 by the Canadian people to Mexico. The Totem symbolically expresses the relationship of Aboriginal peoples with mysterious forces of nature. It is located behind the back of the Official Residence of Los Pinos, and its closest access is Puerta Quebradora.


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