This article needs additional citations for verification . (October 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Haida are one of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Their national territories lie along the west coast of Canada and include parts of south east Alaska. Haida mythology is an indigenous religion that can be described as a nature religion, drawing on the natural world, seasonal patterns, events and objects for questions that the Haida pantheon provides explanations for. Haida mythology is also considered animistic for the breadth of the Haida pantheon in imbuing daily events with Sǥā'na qeda's.
There are innumerable Haida supernatural beings, or Sǥā'na qeda's, including prominent animal crests, wind directions, and legendary ancestors.John R. Swanton, while documenting Haida beliefs as part of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition recorded that the highest being in all Haida mythology and the one who gave power to the Sǥā'na qeda's was Sîns sǥā'naǥwa-i, translated as 'Power-of-the-Shining-Heavens'. Some have the ability to transform between animal and human forms while others do not. In the art creatures can sometimes be found with anthropomorphic features, especially human faces, inside or as part of their bodies denoting this transformative ability.
Within Haida mythology, Raven is a central character, as he is for many of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas; see Raven Tales . While frequently described as a "trickster", Haidas believe Raven, or Yáahlto be a complex reflection of one's own self. Raven can be a magician, a transformer, a potent creative force, ravenous debaucher but always a cultural hero. He is responsible for creating Haida Gwaii, releasing the sun from its tiny box and making the stars and the moon. In one story he released the first humans from a cockle shell on the beach; in another story, he brought the first humans up out of the ground because he needed to fill up a party he was throwing. Raven stories on one level teach listeners how to live a good life, but usually by counterexample. Raven has been described as the greediest, most lecherous and mischievous creature known to the Haida, but at the same time Raven often helps humans in our encounters with other supernatural beings. Raven acquired such things as freshwater, salmon and the house for humans. Robert Bringhurst has noted that Raven never actually creates anything; he made the world by stealing, exchanging, redistributing, and generally moving things around.
Ta'xet and Tia are death gods among the Haida. Ta'xet rules violent death, while Tia rules peaceful death. Dzalarhons, a woman associated with frogs and volcanoes, and her husband, Kaiti (bear god), arrived at the homeland of the Haida from the Pacific Ocean along with six canoes full of people. Gyhldeptis is a kindly forest goddess. Lagua is an invisible spirit who helped the Haida discover the uses of iron. Shamans could speak with Lagua's voice by clenching their teeth.[ citation needed ]
Some of the mythology has been collected by poet Anne Cameron, who created interpretations for adults and children. Epic versions of the mythology by 19th century Haida storyteller-poets Skaay and Ghandl have been translated by Robert Bringhurst, whose Story as Sharp as a Knife, a collection of their works, won the Governor General's Award. His translations, though, are controversial in Haida circles and some have charged him with cultural appropriation.[ citation needed ]
Robert Davidson has incorporated Xe-ū', Southeast Wind, in a variety of media including a 2002 serigraph print,as the solitary being in a 2010 totem pole, and as the main being on a 2015 cedar panel. As recently as 2019 Davidson released a serigraph print titled Supernatural Beings showing five unnamed Sǥā'na qeda's inscribed within a Chilkat robe.
In 2019, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, alongside her stepdaughter Sara Florence Davidson, published a children's book titled Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii which features ten supernatural beings of ancient Haida storytelling and presents them in a visual medium that engages children and teaches them empowering and meaningful examples of living in balance with nature.
William Ronald Reid Jr. (Haida) was a Canadian artist whose works include jewelry, sculpture, screen-printing, and paintings. Producing over one thousand original works during his fifty-year career, Reid is regarded as one of the most significant Northwest Coast artists of the late twentieth century. Some of his major works were featured on the Canadian $20 banknote of the Canadian Journey series (2004–2012).
Haida are an Indigenous group who have traditionally occupied Haida Gwaii, an archipelago just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada for at least 12,500 years.
Totem poles are monumental carvings, a type of Northwest Coast art, consisting of poles, posts or pillars, carved with symbols or figures. They are usually made from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by First Nations and indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast including northern Northwest Coast Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian communities in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia, Kwakwaka'wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth communities in southern British Columbia, and the Coast Salish communities in Washington and British Columbia.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas comprise numerous different cultures. Each has its own mythologies. Some are quite distinct, but certain themes are shared across the cultural boundaries.
Robert Bringhurst is a Canadian poet, typographer and author. He has translated substantial works from Haida and Navajo and from classical Greek and Arabic. He wrote The Elements of Typographic Style, a reference book of typefaces, glyphs and the visual and geometric arrangement of type. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in June 2013.
Haida Gwaii is an archipelago located between 55–125 km (34–78 mi) off the northern Pacific coast of Canada. The islands are separated from the mainland to the east by the shallow Hecate Strait. Queen Charlotte Sound lies to the south, with Vancouver Island beyond. To the north, the disputed Dixon Entrance separates Haida Gwaii from the Alexander Archipelago in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Florence Edenshaw Davidson (1896–1993) was a Canadian First Nations artist from the Haida nation who created traditional basketry and button-blankets and was also a respected elder in her First Nations community, the Haida village of Masset, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.
Charles Edenshaw was a Haida artist from Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada. He is known for his woodcarving, argillite carving, jewellery, and painting.
Skaay was a blind, crippled storyteller of the Haida village of Ttanuu born c. 1827 at Qquuna. Skaay could neither read nor write, but his stories of Haida mythology have survived in the form of written transcriptions taken down by John Swanton with the aide of Henry Moody over the winter of 1900. These transcriptions of myths are unique in the literature, both for their fidelity to the precise wordings of the mythteller, and for the survival of the pre-translation originals.
Jay Simeon is a Canadian artist of Haida heritage on his father's side. He was born into the Kaawaas branch of the Sdast’a.aas Eagle clan. His crests are Eagle, Supernatural Killer Whale, Frog, Beaver, and Raven. His mother is of Blackfoot ancestry and he was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta.
SG̱ang Gwaay Llanagaay, commonly known by its English name Ninstints, is a village site of the Haida people and part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site on Haida Gwaii on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Ḵung is a Haida village, located on the west side of Alexandra Narrows on Graham Island, the largest and northernmost island of Haida Gwaii alongside British Columbia, Canada. Alexandra Narrows, known on some old maps as Mazzaredo Sound, connects Naden Harbour and Virago Sound. An earlier village located at the current village site was named ‘Nightasis’ by the fur trader John Work, and records that in 1840 there were 15 houses with 280 residents.
Shamanism among Alaska Natives was particularly important as it served to construct their special connection to their land, and a kinship with the animals with whom they share that land. Before the introduction of western culture and the religions that are now practiced in Alaska, there was a common spiritual connection made with the people to the land they occupied. The most common name for this connection is shamanism. Shamanism differs in every culture where it is practiced, in Alaska it is centered in the animals that are common in the area. Through the use of many myths, stories, and ceremonies these animals are personified and their spirits made tangible and in turn are deeply woven within the Native Alaska people today. It was through the shaman that the spirit world was connected to the natural world. A shaman in Alaska Native culture was a mediator, healer and the spirit worlds’ mouthpiece. Although shamanism is no longer popularly practiced, it was and continues, to be the heart of the Native Alaskan people.
Old Massett, named G̱aw in X̱aad kíl, is an Aboriginal Canadian village on Graham Island in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. It lies on the east side of Masset Sound close to the town of Masset; the area of land it is on is legally designated Masset Indian Reserve No. 1, or Masset 1. The original name of the settlement was Uttewas, meaning "white-slope village" in the Haida language. It is populated by Haida people of both Ḵuustak, the Eagle matrilineage, and Ḵayx̱al, the Raven matrilineage. The town is administered by the Old Massett Village Council. Its population has fluctuated over the last one hundred and fifty years; smallpox drastically reduced its numbers in the late 1800s, but in 1968, it had over 1,000 people and was the largest village in Haida Gwaii. In 2009, the Village Council counted 2,698 band members in the area; the 2016 census counted 555 living at the Old Massett townsite.
Jim Hart is a Canadian and Haida artist and a chief of the Haida Nation.
Hlk'yah G̱awG̱a, also known as Windy Bay, is located on Athlii Gwaii in southern Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. The site was historically the location of a Haida village named Hlk'yah Llnagaay, meaning Peregrine Falcon Town in English. In the 1980s, Hlk'yah G̱awG̱a was the focus of a series of lawsuits and protests opposing clearcut logging on the island. These demonstrations were the impetus for the signing of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement of 1993 and the creation of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site.
Dadens (daa.adans), also referred to as Tartenee and Tatense by some early European settlers and Tatense Reserve 16 under the Indian Act is village on the southern coast of Langara Island belonging to the Haida Nation on the archipelago Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada. Dadens was once a popular trading post for the North Pacific fur trade among European traders in the late 18th century, due to its size and accessibility. Dadens no longer continues to be used by families year round, but it was used as a fishing village during the summer months by many Haida up until the 1950s and 1960s, and is still used to a limited extent today. There have been multiple migrations of families from Dadens to South East Alaska and these people are now known as the Kiagani Haida.
Now Is the Time is a Canadian documentary film, directed by Christopher Auchter and released in 2019. Created to mark the 50th anniversary of Haida artist Robert Davidson carving and erecting a totem pole on Haida Gwaii in 1969 for the first time in nearly a century, the film blends historical footage from Eugene Boyko's 1970 documentary film This Was the Time with contemporary footage, including the now elderly Davidson's own reflections on the historic importance of his project. The film was made as part of a National Film Board of Canada project, encouraging indigenous filmmakers to make new works responding to and recontextualizing the sometimes colonialist outsider perspectives reflected in many of the organization's old documentaries on First Nations and Inuit cultures.
Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson is a Canadian indigenous lawyer, artist, activist and author and a member of the Raven Clan from the Haida Nation. As a lawyer, Williams-Davidson specializes in aboriginal-environmental law, having represented the Haida Nation at all levels of court since 1996 and notably participating in the litigation of the Haida Nation's TFL39 Case to protect the old-growth forests of Haida Gwaii, a case that effectively altered the government's stance on the consultation and accommodation of Aboriginal Rights.
The Raven and the First Men is a sculpture by Haida artist Bill Reid. It depicts the Haida creation myth. It was carved from a single block of laminated yellow cedar, beginning in the fall of 1978, and took two years to complete, with work completing on April 1, 1980. Raven and the First Men is depicted on the reverse of the former Canadian twenty dollar bill of the Canadian Journey series.