At the very top of the pole, between the ears of the bear, is a human face. This is a self-portrait of the artist.
The main figure on the pole is the bear. You can tell it is a bear as its large paws are showing along with a short snout and big teeth. There are many myths and stories about bears among Northwest Coast peoples.
The bear holds a killer whale in its claws. Killer whales are shown with large heads and mouths, and usually a dorsal (back) fin. By changing its skin like a costume, a whale could leave the sea to become either a human or a wolf.
Sticking out of the whale's blowhole you can see a face. This is Dzunukwa - the Wild Woman of the Woods. She looks like she is sleeping peacefully but she is actually a giant. She lives in the mountains, where she prowls around, calling to children through her protruding lips and scooping them into her basket. Then she takes the children home to eat - her red lips show her taste for blood. Luckily she is often clumsy and slow and the captured children usually manage to escape. When she is burned her ashes turn into mosquitoes, also hungry for blood. Despite this she is seen as the bringer of wealth, power and good fortune.
At the foot of the pole we see Pugwís, who is identified by his two very large front teeth and fish-like face. Like Dzunukwa, Pugwís is the bringer of wealth.