"Totem" Has Roots in an Algonquian Language. Totem comes to us from Ojibwa, an Algonquian language spoken by an American Indian people from the regions around Lake Superior.
In its most specific sense, "Totem" refers to to an emblematic depiction of something (such as an animal, plant, or supernatural being) gives a family or tribe its name and that often serves as a reminder of its ancestry. The term is also used broadly for any thing or person having particular emblematic or symbolic importance.
"Totem" can also refer to items that are imbued with symbols of success or ideas. In my "Totem" series I use the unique format and ratio of the video's dimensions as a "totem" to set them apart from the usual representations of video we see on TV and our mobile devices