The Haida live on the Queen
Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) and in the southern part of southeast
Alaska. Masset and Skidegate, the principal contemporary communities on
the Queen Charlotte Islands, are home to the descendants of people who
lived in the many villages all around the coast of the Queen Charlotte
The Haida house in the Grand Hall is a six-beam house, a style which
became popular on the Queen Charlotte Islands in the nineteenth century.
Haida houses had pitched roofs and a structure of hand-adzed timbers
holding up the roof beams. The walls were constructed of boards set
vertically and held at the top and bottom between timbers set parallel
to the ground. The six-beam house represents one of two styles which
co-existed in Haida villages in the ninenteenth century.
You may enter the
The poles and carvings (from left to right) are:
- Fox Warren Pole (at right). This
pole belonged to a house in Masset which was the property of a Raven
lineage chief named "Things Roasted on a Fire". The figures on the pole,
from the top, are: three Watchmen; a figure in the centre with the
tall hat representing Supernatural Snag; Supernatural Snag, shown as a
standing figure with round teeth; Supernatural Snag holding a frog;
Grizzly Bear with a hunter; and Sea Wolf holding a whale. The pole was
purchased in 1882 by an English traveller and taken to his estate, Fox
- Kayang Pole. This pole, nearly 13
metres in height, was associated with an Eagle lineage house in the Haida
village of Kayang. The house was known as the "House that Wears a Tall
Dancing Hat". The figures on this pole are: chief with a tall dancing hat,
embracing a small animal and joined to it by its tongue; Whale with human
arms grasping its own fins; and Bear with a small raven in its mouth.
- House Waiting for Property Pole.
Although this pole served in the 1880s as the entrance to "House Waiting
for Property", a Raven lineage house in Haina, on Maud Island near
Skidegate, it originally stood in the village of Chaatl. There is some
uncertainty about the name and lineage of the person who owned the house.
- Chief Wiah's House Post. Wiah was the
chief of the Haida village of Masset in the mid-nineteenth century; he
belonged to an Eagle lineage. His house, Neiwans
was famous for its great size. The interior pole, a Beaver with a sculpin
carved on its belly represents two of his principal crests; it stood
beside his private apartment.