The Crying Totem

Chapter Thirty-nine        Raven

Crying Totem, oil on canvas, 1928, 75.3 x 38.8 cm, Location: Vancouver Art Gallery, VAG 42.35.3 © Vancouver Art Gallery

This Tanu father cried with wrenching formality for his hapless sons. Whatever it meant to the Haida, to her, this Eagle father also cried for the smallpox dead at Raven House in Cumshewa. He cried for every father's son sent to war. He cried for Sophie's children, and for Sophie. He cried for Haaydzims and Muldo and Tuuns, some Gitksan fathers' sons, for Harold, and for all the beaten, disfigured, lost. His tears shut no one out.