Tools main content.


Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

4.2  HAIDA tools hero

A number of commonly used Haida implements are displayed here. The tobacco pipes and the potato knife were not present in pre-white times, but were adopted from European traders or explorers. The early explorers introduced potatoes to the Haida who traded their surplus to the Tsimshian for oil from the olachen fish. Before contact with Europeans, the Haida chewed, but did not smoke tobacco. Earlier in their history they customarily traded sea-otters furs to the Tsimshianic; but the Haida hunted the sea-otter so intensively in response to the heavy demand by the traders, that it virtually disappeared early in the era of fur trading.