Haida art

DEFINITION

A term referencing art of the indigenous people of the Northwest coast of North America whose ancestral home was known as "Haida Gwaii". It is located in the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of British Columbia and the southern half of Prince of Wales Island in the Alaska Panhandle. Haida art is the major component of Northwest coast Indian art, and its most recognized element is the totem pole. Abundant red cedar, fishing, and wild animals were the mainstay of the culture. The population died off from exposure to smallpox brought by foreign visitors in the 18th Century. Today much of the population lives on reservations on Graham Island, one of the Charlotte Islands. Many contemporary Haida artists, intending to revive the traditions based on these Haidic peoples, are in west-coast cities such as Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert. Of this group, the best known master Haidic artist of the 20th Century was Bill Reid, whose grand father was a Haida silversmith. Other modern Haida artists are Jim Hart, Robert Davidson, Todd Jason Baker, Joe David, Glen Wood and Glenn Schworak. Sources: M.D. Silverbrooke, Art Historian and Collector, West Vancouver, British Columbia.;www.artfromthetribe.com/; www.encyclopedia.farlex.com/Haida+Gwai; (LPD)

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