bill herschauer, dedication, event, friends, genealogy poles, history, lac du flambeau lions club, lions pride, master carver, meeting place, memorial poles, mortuary poles, na-wak-wa, native american cusotms, pete blazkowski, rosholt, september 20, totem pole, wisconsin, wisconsin lions camp
There is a new face (actually seven new faces!) coming to the Wisconsin Lions Camp. On Saturday, the camp will be unveiling a new totem pole for the world to see.
Although totem poles are common elements in Native American customs, they are surprisingly also seen in several different cultures. Many different types of totem poles exist today.
- Genealogy Poles are built in front of family’s homes to displays the owner’s group or social status.
- Memorial Poles are created to honor a deceased member of a family or group.
- Mortuary Poles are also carved in honor of the dead, but include a small compartment to hold the ashes.
Totem poles can represent stories or special events in a group’s history. Each figure on the pole shows traits and characteristics each group or story represents.
Totem poles have played an important role at the Lions Camp over the years. Since 1965, the members of Lac du Flambeau Lions Club have created three totem poles specifically for the camp. The club spent countless hours of hard work designing and carving. The animals on the most recent totem pole represented courage, teamwork, merriment, intelligence, strength and dedication. It was called the Na-Wak-Wa, which means “meeting place for friends” because the Lions Club creators wanted all of the campers found the Wisconsin Lions Camp to be a place of friendship. Unfortunately, the pole surrendered to internal rot.
Under the leadership of Bill Herschauer, the club hired Master Carver and Fellow Lion, Pete Blazkowski, to create the fourth totem pole. On December 5, 2011, the Lac du Flambeau Band of the Ojibwa Nation donated a beautiful white pine, estimated to be about 234 years old, to replace the fallen totem. After nearly four years of hard work, we will be able to see the masterpiece Pete and the supporting members of the Lac du Flambeau club members have crafted.