CackleTV images
 

Recent Posts

Leon's comments on Haida Gwaii

Shawna's comments on Haida Gwaii

30 days, 500 miles... back in Queen Charlotte!

Downie Island

Denham Point

Tasu Sound

Puffin Cove

Anvil Bay / Wells Cove

Gordon Islands

Woodruff Bay

On The Web

CackleTV.com

Body Boat Blade

Keirron's Blog

Derrick's Blog

December 2004

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions



 


Shaking hands with Haida Culture
Tuesday, August 07, 2007


BILL REID'S HAIDA WAR CANOE



I don't have time to reflect too much on the trip yet as we are keeping busy living! It's been a fun few days in Queen Charlotte chatting to people and surrounding ourselves with art, dancing & food, all with a Haida flavour. We went to a great seafood feast at the herritage centre where we were served, amongst other things, herrings eggs on kelp ( I don't think I'll be seeking them out again but I enjoyed trying them!). After dinner we were entertained by Haida dancing, which was really colourful and interesting. We were also lucky enough to chance upon 2 of the artists at the centre who are spending 3 months making 90foot long Haida war canoes - almost the first time theyv'e been made for over 100 years. The only other 'modern' Haida canoe is already at the centre - it was designed and overseen by the famous Haida artist Bill Reid 20 years ago. It's an incrediblly beautiful cedar canoe that is paddled every year in races and to transport important people. I find it amazing that the Haida regularly paddled these canoes over 70km to mainland Canada, raided towns there and paddled back with slaves. We think we're adventurous to kayak in the waters that they paddled in year round just to collect food to live. You gotta admire that!

Shawna later found out that one of the artists carving the canoe also made a limited edition Haida print that she'd just bought.


THE BLINKING HOUSE AT WINDY COVE, BY ROBERT & REG DAVIDSON, THAT WE STAYED IN

Yesterday we got the ferry over to Sandspit on Moresby and went to visit the home of Neil & Betty Carey, the couple who built & lived in the cabin at Puffin Cove on the west coast of Moresby that we stayed in. Neil was pleased to invite us in & show us some of their thousands of Japanese glass balls and whale bones that they beachcombed. We could show him a few photos of Puffin Cove and let him know how the place is doing.


LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU'LL SEE PUFFIN COVE CABIN

SHAWNA & LEON WITH NEIL CAREY

Today we hired a car and drove to a few sights, including the location where the famous tree, the Golden Spruce, was cut down in the middle of the night by a logger in 1997. We looked around lots of shops & galleries searching for the perfect piece of Haida jewelry made from argillite, a black shale-like rock that is only found in Haida Gwaii and only Haida people are allowed to carve. Eventually Shawna & I both chose necklaces that we liked, mine was by Myles Edgars & hers was by his daughter Amy. We later drove through Old Masset and stopped at a house which said 'Argillite carvers, visitors welcome'. Incredibly, inside sat Myles & Amy carving away!! So we all had to buy something else directly from the artists! In the shop in Old Masset I fell in love with a beautiful bentwood box ( which had just sold for $18,000 !), 5 mins later the young guy who had carved it walked in the door! I took a photo in case I can ever afford to commission one!


THE WONDERFUL BENTWOOD BOX WITH IT"S MAKER
At the risk of going on I'll tell you one more story! Earlier in our kayaking trip we camped on the beach outside Old Masset. The next morning a man drove up to the beach and threw away some crab remains. We asked if it was OK that we camped there and he said, "Sure. I don't mind, I just think it's funny that someone is camping in our garbage dump"! It turned out that the man was the famous Haida artist Reg Davidson and we had a great chat with him. We've since seen his artwork and his name in many books & shops. A few weeks later in Rose Harbour, Reg's brother, the even more famous Haida artist, Robert Davidson happened to be there on a charter yacht so we got to chat to him aswell. He told us that the long house we'd spent the night in at Windy Bay on Lyell island was designed by him and painted by his brother Reg!

I really love the fact that we've met so many of the people who are keeping Haida art alive. Art is really important to the Haida as it's an expression of their connection with the land & a huge part of their history. They never used to have a written language so family crests on clothing and on totem poles were used to tell other people about a persons family and status. Most of the crests are of animals, encouraging a respect for the bears, killer whales, eagles and ravens that sustained the Haida, and lived alongside them. Haida art developed over 10,000 years and is really beautiful and sophisticated.

Tomorrow we take the ferry back to Prince Rupert and begin a 4 day journey back to Body Boat Blade.....


THE WAR CANOES BEING BUILT AT THE HERRITAGE CENTRE



MYLES CARVING AN ARGILLITE TOTEM POLE

2 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

What a wonderful experience you've all had. Thanks for sharing it so well.

Safe home!

3:15 am  
Blogger sandy said...

Just finished reading the amazing book, The Golden Spruce, googling for photos I found your site. It's awesome, hope you don't mind a stranger lurking.

Traveling mercies!
Sandy in Wyoming

1:32 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home

 Back To Index