Slate carving main content.

Slate carving

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

7 HAIDA slate carving hero

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. The Haida did not smoke these pipes, but made them for trade with whites. The early carvings imitated the scrimshaw work of white sailors, but by the late 1800s, the Haida were using purely sculpt other items, such as boxes, bowls and miniature totem poles.