A totem pole of SGang Gwaay, Haida Gwaii, also known as Ninstints. The pole depicts a bear and a man, a central figure found in Haida carving and storytelling.
In the Haida world, ocean and forest exist as two separate but unified universes, one that's filled with supernatural creatures. The Haida's stories tell of adventures between the First People and characters like Raven, Grizzly Bear and Killer Whale. Images of these creatures evolved into stylized crest figures, and referred to an ancestral encounter in mythic times. Each symbol or crest thus reflects the power and prestige gained in the encounter and passed down through subsequent generations. The pole was an object of pride owned by a clan and contributing to its wealth and esteem.