In English, the word totem was introduced in 1791 by a British merchant and translator who gave it a false meaning in the belief that it designated the guardian spirit of an individual, who appeared in the form of an animal-an idea that the Ojibwa clans did indeed portray by their wearing of animal skins.
What are some examples of totems?
Totems are usually animals and body parts.
Examples include Fish Eagle (Hungwe), Lion (Shumba), Monkey (Tsoko), Elephant (Nzou/Nhari/Zhou) or leg (Gumbo), heart (Mwoyo) etc. Each of these totems are usually accompanied by what is called praise poetry. Jun 25, 2018
How many types of totems are there?
There are seven principal kinds of totem poles: memorial, or heraldic, poles, erected when a house changes hands to commemorate the past owner and to identify the present one; grave markers (tombstones); house posts, which support the roof; portal poles, which have a hole through which a person enters the house; . . .