What Is Haida Art

What does Haida art mean?

Haida art is an art of line. Four common characteristics of two-dimensional Haida art are: balance, unity, symmetry and tension within the design. Flat designs are also compact, highly organized and have a classic highly unified structural appearance.

What is Haida art based on?

The Haida artistic style has been compared to an ancient language with a visual grammar and vocabulary of animals and mythological creatures. Carved and painted on wood, stone and other materials, these figures tell a story, identify the lineage of a social group and explore philosophical ideas.

Where is Haida art from?

Northwest Coast art is the term commonly applied to a style of art created primarily by artists from Tlingit, Haida, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations and Native American tribes of the Northwest Coast of North America, from pre-European-contact times up to the present.

How was Haida art created?

The ocean is a profound source of inspiration for Haida art. Many of the creatures found on family crest poles and other carved objects are drawn from the ocean. Killer whales, sea lions, halibut, sharks and supernatural beings such as the Sea-wolf are some of these beings of the sea that Haida artists depict.

What is Haida known for?

The Haida were widely known for their art and architecture, both of which focused on the creative embellishment of wood. They decorated utilitarian objects with depictions of supernatural and other beings in a highly conventionalized style. They also produced elaborate totem poles with carved and painted crests.

When was Haida art created?

Haida argillite carvings are a sculptural tradition among the Haida indigenous nation of the Northwest Coast of North America. It first became a widespread art form in the early 19th century, and continues today.

Does the Haida tribe still exist?

Haida are Indigenous people who have traditionally occupied the coastal bays and inlets of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. In the 2016 census, 501 people claimed Haida ancestry, while 445 people identified as speakers of the Haida language.


Published Online October 24, 2010
Last Edited August 1, 2018

How do you read a painting signature?

Look in the corners of the painting to see if there is a signature or monogram. If the name is easy to read, simply search the artist's name up online to find the painting. If it's harder to read, look carefully to see if you can break down the letters and read them.

What were Haida beliefs?

Haida ethics and values are fundamental to Haida culture and society – respect, responsibility, interconnectedness, balance, seeking wise counsel, and giving and receiving are all elements that define the Haida world view. Respect for each other and all living things is rooted in our culture.

Did the Haida believe in Raven?

While frequently described as a "trickster", Haidas believe Raven, or Yáahl to be a complex reflection of one's own self. Raven has been described as the greediest, most lecherous and mischievous creature known to the Haida, but at the same time Raven often helps humans in our encounters with other supernatural beings.

What happened to the Haida tribe?

The pre-epidemic population of Haida Gwaii was estimated to be 6,607, but was reduced to 829 in 1881. The only two remaining villages were Massett and Skidegate. The population collapse caused by the epidemic weakened Haida sovereignty and power, ultimately paving the way for colonization.

What is Bill Reid's full name?

William Ronald Reid, sculptor (born 12 January 1920 in Victoria, BC; died 13 March 1998 in Vancouver, BC). An internationally recognized Haida artist, Bill Reid is frequently credited with the revival and innovative resurgence of Northwest Coast Indigenous arts in the contemporary world.

Is Bill Reid indigenous?

Reid was born in Victoria, BC to a Haida mother and an American father with Scottish German roots, and only began exploring his Haida roots at the age of 23. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art was created in 2008 to honour his legacy and celebrate the diverse indigenous cultures of the Northwest Coast.

What is the focus of woodland art?

It explores the relationships between people, animals, and plants, and is rich with spiritual imagery and symbolism. The traditional style of Woodland Art was developed as a mix of the Midewiwin birch bark scrolls and the imagery of Norval Morrisseau, the founder of Woodland Art.

What were the two main types of art from the Pacific Northwest?

Traditional methods like carving and weaving have grown to include sculpture, fine metalsmithing, and printmaking. Formline is the term used to describe the elements that make up two-dimensional Northwest Coast art.

What did the Haida use before metal tools?

Before iron and steel arrived in the area, Natives used tools made of stone, shells, or beaver teeth for carving. The process was slow and laborious; axes were unknown.

What does the name Haida mean?

Haida, an old name for Nový Bor. Haida Gwaii, meaning "Islands of the People", formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands. Haida Islands, a different archipelago near Bella Bella, British Columbia.

Who are the Haida for kids?

The Haida are a tribe of Native Americans who traditionally lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of what is now British Columbia in Canada. In the early 1700s a small group of Haida moved to Prince of Wales Island in what is now Alaska.

How do you identify argillite?

In an inconspicuous area, such as the bottom or base of the carving, one could use material of a slightly harder material, such as a copper penny, to scratch the stone. If the stone can be scratched by this material, this could be an indication that the piece is argillite.

What is argillite worth?

Haida artists turn the stone into pendants, miniature totem poles and other items representing Haida cultural themes. A simple, small pendant by a young artist can sell for a few hundred dollars. An elaborate design -- perhaps one with inlays of gold or ivory -- by an experienced carver can sell for $20,000 or more.

What is argillite stone?

Argillite ( /ˈɑːrdʒɪlaɪt/) is a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed predominantly of indurated clay particles. Argillaceous rocks are basically lithified muds and oozes. They contain variable amounts of silt-sized particles. The argillites grade into shale when the fissile layering typical of shale is developed.

What language did Haida speak?

Haida /ˈhaɪdə/ (X̱aat Kíl, X̱aadas Kíl, X̱aayda Kil, Xaad kil) is the language of the Haida people, spoken in the Haida Gwaii archipelago off the coast of Canada and on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. An endangered language, Haida currently has 24 native speakers, though revitalization efforts are underway.

Did Haida believe in gods?

The Haida believed strongly in reincarnation, and sometimes before death an individual might choose the parents to whom he or she was to be reborn. At death, the soul was transported by canoe to the Land of the Souls to await reincarnation.

What is an artist's signature called?

An artist's signature is a calling card. Signing a painting claims ownership, gives additional value, and marks it as a complete, sellable piece. However many artists struggle with signing their paintings. A signature is meant to be a part of your painting.

How do I know if a painting is valuable?

One good indicator of how to tell if a paint is valuable is to figure out who owned the painting beforehand. If someone who was high up or well-known in the art community owned the painting, then there might have been a reason for it. They knew that it was worth more.

How can you tell if a painting is an original?

How do the Haida see the world?

Like these birds common in the Pacific Northwest, the Raven is just as clever and resourceful. It is important to note that while Raven is central to how Haida see the world, he is not thought of as a god per se.

What Haida art form is most widely known around the world?

Haida art is recognized around the world for its monumental totem poles and sculptures; fine carving in wood, metal and slate; and weaving.

What kind of clothes did the Haida wear?

Haida men wore breech clouts and long cloaks. Women wore knee-length skirts and poncho-like capes. Haida clothing was usually woven out of fiber made from cedar bark, but some garments were made of deerskin and otter fur.

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