Haida

In This Section

Haida masks

Haida masks

Masks were worn by members of secret societies who danced on ceremonial occasions.

Haida carving

Haida carving

The Haida sculptor decorated utilitarian objects as carefully and elaborately as ceremonial equipment. 

Ceremonial regalia

Ceremonial regalia

House raisings, marriages, funerals, and the cutting of apertures for labrets earrings and nose ornaments offered the Haida opportunities for ceremonial celebrations.

Tools

Tools

A number of commonly used Haida implements are displayed here.

Musical instruments

Musical instruments

Whistles were used in ceremonies. The sound of the whistles was believed to represent the voices of supernatural beings. 

Spoons

Spoons

The Haida made spoons out of the horn of the mountain sheep (white) and mountain goat (black). 

Burial

Burial

When a high-ranking Haida died, the body remained in the house from four to six days during mourning ceremonies.

Slate carving

Slate carving

In the early 1800s, the Haida began to carve pipes and pipestems from argillite, a soft black slate found in one place in the Queen Charlotte Islands. 

Hunting and fishing

Hunting and fishing

Haida hunting was concentrated on sea mammals which provided both food and pelts. 

Basketry

Basketry

Haida baskets were wove of split spruce root of of cedar bark.