An Aboriginal Presence

An Aboriginal Presence

Isabella Edenshaw (1858-1926)

Haida basket maker Isabella Edenshaw (K'woiyeng) was a member of the Yakulanas (Raven) lineage. When she was a small child, her parents died of smallpox. She was adopted and raised by Albert Edward Edenshaw, chief of the Stelthdas Eagle lineage. She married Charles Edenshaw in a traditional ceremony around 1873, and in the Anglican Church in 1885.

While raising a large family, Isabella Edenshaw worked in salteries and canneries, and made and sold spruce root baskets and hats.

"My mother used to weave everything - placemats, hats, baskets with covers, seaweed baskets, baskets for carrying water..."

Florence Edenshaw Davidson quoted in Margaret Blackman During My Time.

Hat - VII-B-899 - XXXXXXXX
British Columbia
Before 1911
Made by Isabella Edenshaw
Spruce root and paint
Canadian Museum of Civilization, VII-B-899

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