Haida Mask

Most Haida people still live on Haida Gwaii (The Queen Charlotte Islands) off the Northwest coast of British Columbia, as well as in southern Alaska, though there are many Haidas living in Vancouver, Seattle and other communities all over the world. They are a matrilineal culture, organized by clans. The two clans of the Haida are the Eagles and Ravens. Roberta belongs to the Raven clan.

Traditional Haida societies travelled in enormous sea-going canoes and lived by harvesting seafood. They used the cedar tree as their primary material for building and making items for everyday use.

Even today, Haida people hold traditional potlatches regularly. These feasts are organized by each clan to spread wealth in the community. Potlatches involve much feasting, singing, dancing, and giving away gifts to guests.

The Haida people are famous for the quality of their carvings, basketry, and prints. Some noted Haida artists include Bill Reid and Robert Davidson. Haida artists carve in cedar and argillite as well as copper, silver and gold. They make baskets and hats out of cedar bark and spruce roots. Haidas wear button robes with intricate designs of traditional crests to show what clan they belong to. The Haida people also still carve totem poles and canoes out of cedar wood.

The following links provide more information about the Haida people, culture and language:

Haida Drum