Courtesy of the Juneau Empire:
There’s a nonexistent approval rating for Gov. Mike Dunleavy and President Donald Trump in Tommy Joseph’s most recent pole.
Joseph, a Tlingit master carver who resides in Sitka, carved a totem pole meant to shame Trump and Dunleavy over the weekend, and it’s received some attention outside his home where it currently stands and on social media.
“I’m compelled, motivated and feel the need to say what I have to say,” Joseph said in an interview.
While the pole has contemporary subject matter in the sitting president and governor of Alaska, it’s made in the spirit of traditional shame or ridicule poles. Shame poles were totem poles meant to tell the story of a misdeed or unpaid debt.
Joseph compared ridicule poles to the practice of posting a bounced check near a cash register.
Traditionally, Joseph said once the wrong depicted by a totem pole was righted, the pole would be destroyed, and the story would not be told again.
“Will that ever happen?” Joseph asked. “I don’t know.”
Alaskans are not really known for their subtlety.
I think if Mr. Joseph wanted ot launch a lucrative side businesss carving Dunleavy and Trump shaming poles might just fit the bill.