"The Healing Poles"

"The Healing Poles" (HMQQ5)

Location: Washington, DC 20003
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 52.825', W 76° 58.792'

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9-11 Memorial

— [Historic Congressional Cemetery] —

Peace - War
[Rendering of the Healing Totem Poles]Liberty - Freedom

The cross piece at the top carries two eagles: Peace, a female, faces east; War, a male, faces west. The eagles are symbols of courage and great vision, held up by the strength and endurance of the bears, reminding us that as we move forward with courage as a united people, we must use our great vision to make the right choices to protect our liberty and freedom.

A male bear [carving on pole at left] represents Father Sky above the Grandfather Sun.

A female bear [carving on pole at right] represents Mother Earth above the Grandmother Moon on the Turtle's shell.

The Symbolism in the Poles begins with its basic structure, a framework representing a house, reminding all Americans that we live under one roof; we are one family. The colors red, yellow, black, and white are united in these poles, representing the four races here in America.

A Healing Pole is a celebration of culture that connects the past and present. While it may commemorate a tragedy or honor the dead its power reaches beyond the loss to actually touch each viewer with the power to heal grief.

"Native people know what grief is. We know what pain and suffering is. But we also know how to put our arms around one another" Jewell James, Master Carver.

The Turtle is a representation of Turtle Island, a symbol often used for North America.
The Lummi carvers of Washington State felt a spiritual call to add the turtle to the healing pole as they were carving, but did not understand why they felt called to include this symbol.
It was not until the end of the 4,500 mile journey across the continent when the poles were delivered into the care of the Piscataway Tribe of Maryland, that the deeper connection was revealed: the Turtle is also the Piscataway clan symbol and the Anacostia riverbank was their homeland, where the Healing Poles now reside.

The Totem's Journey to Our Nation's Capital
"Freedom" & "Liberty" were carved from an old western red cedar, felled at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington, by Jewell Praying Wolf James, master carver of the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Indian Nation, Billingham, Washington.

Created to help our Nation heal from the wounds of September 11, 2001, the poles made a spiritual journey of 4,500 miles across the country, stopping 13 times along the way for blessings from local Indian tribes.

The poles were temporarily raised for a welcoming ceremony at the Pentagon on September 19, 2004 and then permanently upon these historic grounds on September 23, 2004, as part of the City's September 11 Memorial Grove.

[logo of the TKF Foundation:] "Open Spaces - Sacred Places"
HM NumberHMQQ5
Series This marker is part of the More Than Words series
Year Placed2004
Placed ByTKF Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 10:52am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 328264 N 4305369
Decimal Degrees38.88041667, -76.97986667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 52.825', W 76° 58.792'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 52' 49.50" N, 76° 58' 47.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 700-798 17th St SE, Washington DC 20003, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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