1925 Knight Templar Stand Alone Ashtray

 

This beautiful Knight Templar stand alone ashtray comes from the Thirty-Sixth Triennial Conclave that was held in Seattle, Washington – 1925.  It is made of copper with an adjustable pole bearing both Knight Templar symbolism and Pacific Northwest cultural embellishments.

The theme for this ashtray represented the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. There were many nations and tribal affiliations, each with distinctive cultural and political identities, but they shared certain beliefs, traditions and practices, such as the centrality of salmon as a resource and spiritual symbol. The term Northwest Coast or North West Coast is used in anthropology to refer to the groups of Indigenous people residing along the coast of British Columbia, Washington state, parts of Alaska, and (depending upon who is defining the area), Oregon and. The term Pacific Northwest is largely used in the American context.

Prior to the contact with Westerners, warfare between nations, and the enslaving of captives was also an enterprise common to many of the groups. At one point the region had the highest population density of a region inhabited by Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Masterfully designed canoes of many sizes and forms were made on the coast of North America. They were the main form of transportation for the indigenous people of the area until long after European colonization. In recent years, the craft of canoe-making has been revived, and a few have been built by a number of the native nations. Like those made in traditional times, they have proved eminently seaworthy.

Totem poles pictured around the base of the pole were monumental sculptures carved on poles, posts, or pillars with symbols or figures made from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America (northwestern United States and Canada's western province, British Columbia). The word totem derives from the Algonquian (most likely Ojibwe) word odoodem [oˈtuːtɛm], "his kinship group". Totem poles are not religious objects, but they do communicate important aspects of native culture. Carvings of animals and other characters typically represent characters or events in a story. The carvings may symbolize or commemorate cultural beliefs that recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. The poles may also serve as functional architectural features, welcome signs for village visitors, mortuary vessels for the remains of deceased ancestors, or as a means to publicly ridicule someone. Given the complexity and symbolic meanings of totem pole carvings, their placement and importance lies in the observer's knowledge and connection to the meanings of the figures.

A special “Thank You” to Gene and Jeannie Presler who donated this wonderful artifact to our museum in memory of their dear friend Stuart Rice who passed away in 2013.

 

 

                  

               

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