Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pole Raising–Skidegate

This post will be heavy on pictures of some amazing Haida applique and spruce and cedar woven hats.  There were some many beautiful pieces of clothing that I couldn't put them all on the post.

Jim and I attended the pole raising in Skidegate when we were there.  It was the first Chief's pole to be raised in over 100 years in Skidegate.  There was a huge potlatch after the pole raising that we did not attend.  Although everyone is welcome to attend - we went in to the hall where it was being held and it was a very special event and it was going to be a very long night - they can go on until the wee hours of the morning and we had Jenny in the car.  It would have been amazing to see the dancing - but I am sure that would have been quite late in the night.

There was  probably a couple of hundred people at the pole raising.  The pole was being raised at the home of the new Chief.  Here is a link to a blog called   "Living on the Edge"  This blog as some wonderful pictures and more information about the chief and the traditions - well worth looking at.

Jim and I took a few pictures of the wonderful Haida clothing. 


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The cedar hats are made by the Haida people and the Otter pelts are used for many things - clothing and trim on the head bands.  When we were in Old Masset we stopped at a place where the woman in the centre was weaving the headband she is wearing and triming it with the Otter fur. 

Entire families dressed for the occasion.


This is the chief and his wife watching the pole go up.  The Haida people are either from the Eagle or Raven clan and Eagles must marry only Ravens - and Ravens only marry Eagles.  The chief is an Eagle and his wife is a Raven.


This is the blessing of the pole before it is raised.


A system of ropes and pulleys ( block and tackle) are used to raise the pole.

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Everybody gets in and helps pull on the ropes.  There was an incident with a rope breaking and a member of the community that was watching got hit by a block and hurt - some broken ribs - but in the end he was okay - taken away in the ambulance and the work to raise the pole continues.


And here is the pole -- it is a beautiful pole -- an Eagle on top for the chief - the two bars on the very top signify the number of potlatches he has or will have hosted.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Pictures from Haida Gwaii

Getting on the Ferry at 10 PM for the overnight trip from Prince Rupert to Skidegate Landing.  


We arrived in Skidegate Landing at 6 AM.  We drove north to Masset – a short stop for breakfast in Port Clements.  It is about 100 km from Skidegate to Masset.
Our little cabin on the beach.


It was pretty rustic – propane stove and lights and a tap with cold water that was collected from the roof – Drinking water was in bottles.  A wood stove.  The bed is in the little loft – quite comfortable and always nice and warm above the wood stove – sometimes a little too warm! 
No fridge – the food was kept in a cooler – on the front deck.  


The beach on the north end of Haida Gwaii goes on for miles and miles and miles!  Great for walking – which we did a lot of!



Sanderlings – after having Jenny take a run at them – something we tried to keep her from doing – poor birds!


There were Eagles and Ravens EVERYWHERE!  The Haida people are either in the Eagle or Raven Clan – I can understand why they have such a close relationship with the birds. There are certainly as many Eagles and Ravens as there are people on Haida Gwaii. 


Usually it is me taking all the pictures with my little Canon camera but Jim was using the new Nikon and I was using my Canon so a few more shots of me this trip.  Jim liked this picture with me and Jenny and the reflection on the beach.  This was one of our evening walks.  


We had some beautiful sunsets!!  This part of the beach that we stayed on was south end of North  Beach – then there is Agate Beach and North Beach – then Rose Spit and more beach around the east side of the island.  North Beach is where Jim went to get the Razor Clams.  But they are really all one long beach.  Next post will be North Beach.