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Human characters can be family members, chiefs, wives, children as well as animals masquerading as human. People can also be both human and spiritual beings. Ghost People are wolves who transform into shadowy people to attend ceremonies. Ghost people are great drummers, or so the legends say.
Powerful grizzly bear characters with human-like qualities might represent the clan of the people who carved the totem pole. Frog characters might represent slaves or children. Women frequently are distinguished by a labret in their lower lip and often depicted embracing a child or children.
People are primary topics and characters in totem pole stories and creation. Totem poles tell the life stories and history of the people who own the poles. The term "low man on the totem pole," was thought to mean lowest in rank or importance, however, actual pole design is made with little regard for any hierarchy in the order of character arrangement. Most of the people in this section actually appear on authentic totem poles with a few whimsical ones just for fun.