Last updateFri, 03 Dec 2021 2pm


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Indigenous totem en route to Glasgow

A 4.5-meter high totem carved from a single tree in Chumatlán, Veracruz has made the 9,000-kilometer trek to the United Kingdom in time for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

pg24cCarved by Indigenous Totonac artist Jun Tiburcio, Totem Latamat is a messenger sent by the Totonac people. “Latamat” means “life” in Tutunakú, and the totem is expressive of Totonac spiritual ideas as they relate to the environment.  

Featuring the head of a man and the wings of an eagle sculpted into the cedar wood, the totem emphasizes how deeply our existence is interwoven with nature, calls attention to the damage being done to the seas, the land and the air, and insists that we cannot ignore this destruction any longer. 

The totem arrived in the U.K. by ship and is visiting various locations, including London, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Manchester, before arriving in Glasgow for COP26, scheduled October 31 to November 12.


Following COP26 it will be ceremonially returned to the Earth, emphasizing the cyclical and transient nature of life and art.

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