SYRACUSE — Mark Deister hosted a totem pole raising ceremony Saturday evening, Oct. 5, on his property on the peninsula of Lake Papakeechie along Hiawatha Lane. The authentic 14-foot totem pole has intricate carvings and was placed in a concrete base along the lakeshore on Deister’s property.
The nearly three-hour event was designed to honor the Miami Native American tribe and included a chief, historian, medicine man and drum corps. Members of the Miami answered questions about the tribe’s culture and the meaning of raising the totem pole. The ceremony included a formal dance accompanied by the drum corps and educational commentary about the significance of the event.
A time capsule was buried near the totem pole. The area was lit with tiki torches after dusk.
There are three other smaller totem poles, each one 8-feet tall, on the south side of Deister’s property and highlighted by spotlights. He purchased those poles nearly a year ago in Traverse City, Mich.