Totem Poles can be found throughout the Northwestern area of North America. Seattle and Vancouver both have some very nice examples but if you really want to see them in all their glory, you need to come to Ketchikan, Alaska. The city has the largest collection in the world, and the craft of pole making is still being practiced today.
I was surprised to learn the figures aren’t idols but more like newspapers, as they do convey stories. Most often they are stories about the past or lessons about life. There’s one totem that warns children not to go to close to the beach without an adult, by telling the story of a boy who didn’t obey and as eaten by a killer whale.
Ketchikan is a hard [lace to get to, but it is almost always a stop on most Alaskan cruises. (That’s how I got there) So if you are cruising to Alaska and this is one of your stops, definitely get off the ship!