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Relive the Journey

A time lapse recording of the NLM Totem Pole's 4500 mile journey across the country.

Following a blessing at the historic Lummi village site of Semiahmoo (25 miles north of Bellingham, Washington), the finished totem was transported on a truck across the United States, stopping for tribal blessings on reservations in 13 states. The healing totem was erected as part of a traditional Lummi blessing ceremony in front of the National Library of Medicine on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD in October 2011.

Relive the NLM healing totem’s journey through Indian country to open the Native Voices exhibition. Read the healing totem blog at

Watch all 5,000 miles of the healing totem journey across the country in this entertaining six-minute time-lapse video. Two cameras were positioned on the totem truck to capture every mile, every rest stop, and some dramatic scenery and weather along the way.

The time-lapse cameras captured one still frame every ten seconds. The video was then sped up by a factor of six – so every second of video equates to 30 minutes of real time. This six-minute video covers approximately 180 hours of driving time.