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Haida Pole

Haida Pole, 1984
Carvers: Gerry Marks, Richard Hunt and Tim Paul
Based on: Haida House Frontal Pole

This pole was raised on June 9, 1984, in front of the new carving studio in Thunderbird Park. Charley Wesley, Chief of Cumshewa, attended the pole raising ceremony. It is a version of an original pole that stood in front of a house named Rock Slide House in hlqin7ul ‘llnagaay (Cumshewa), Haida Gwaii. Rock Slide House was built after 1878 and replaced an earlier house named House That Makes a Great Noise. In 1901 the pole was purchased by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The Field Museum sold it to the Salvation Army in the 1930s and it was erected in a children’s camp in Illinois. A collector acquired it in the 1960s. The Canadian Museum of Civilization purchased it in 1982. In 1996, the original pole was installed in the Grand Hall in the CMC in Hull, Quebec (VII-B-1796 ab.)
RBCM 20129.
All Colour Images - Mike Scott Photograph RBCM, 2006.

Haida Pole


Three Watchmen, guardians who are said to call out warnings at the approach of enemy canoes.

Cormorant, with human arms and feathers at the elbows.

Whale and two human figures. A woman clings to the whale’s tail and a small upside-down human figure rides on its back. The face of the small figure forms the whale’s blowhole. This figure group probably illustrates the story of Nanasimgit, whose wife was abducted by a whale.

Grizzly Bear, with two human-like cubs. These figures may illustrate the Bear Mother story about a woman who marries a bear and gives birth to half-human, half-bear children.



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Raising the Haida house frontal pole. Murray Edwards, Producer; Gord More, Photographer, University of Victoria, 1984.

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Rainbow Creek Dancers at raising of the Haida house frontal pole. Murray Edwards, Producer; Gord More, Photographer, University of Victoria, 1984.

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Views of Haida house frontal pole.
RBCM video.

Three Watchmen
Close up of Three Watchmen
Close up of Cormorant
Human Figures
Close up of Human Figures

Grizzly Bear
Human Face Close up of Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear Cubs
Close up of Grizzly Bear Cubs
hlqin7ul ‘llnagaay (Cumshewa), 1901.
Charles F. Newcombe photograph.
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