In 1947, the University of British
Columbia persuaded Mungo Martin to come Vancouver to oversee the restoration of totem
poles. Although Mungo had been a practicing artist all his life, having learned his craft
from his stepfather Charlie James, in his sixth decade he embarked on a new career that
was to continue until his death in 1962.
In 1952, Mungo came to Victoria to begin a replication
program of old poles that had stood in in the British Columbia Provincial
display in Thunderbird Park. Originally conceived as a three-year program, the work
continues today with it's head carver the late Chief Martin's grandson Richard Hunt.
Mungo's importance as an artist is perhaps over-shadowed by his pre-eminence as a teacher
of the old ways. Mungo was a tutor to his son~in~law Henry hunt and his grandson Tony
Hunt, both of whom worked with Mungo at Thunderbird Park. Mungo also taught the Haida
artist Bill Reid the traditional woodworking techniques of the Southern Kwakiutl, and
worked with Doug Cranmer, the grandson of Mungo,s second wife Abayah.