Haida Argillite Carvers in Victoria

July 22, 2019. By Grant Keddie. Introduction The Haida were among the many Indigenous northern visitors to Victoria after 1853. Many came to work to get trade goods or wages to purchase European commodities. The Haida visitors brought carvings they made on Haida Gwaii. Many of these were made of argillite, a stone unique to Haida Gwaii (see appendix 1, What is Argillite). Argillite was used primarily after 1810, there are only a few examples of argillite being used for labrets in ancient times (Keddie 1981). Argillite plates, platters, mugs, goblets, knives and forks became popular as the Haida copied the European-style tableware used by the settlers. The citizens of Fort Victoria enthusiastically purchased these. On July 21, 1859 the … Continue reading “Haida Argillite Carvers in Victoria”

Haida Gwaii to Hawaii

October 13, 2020 By Grant Keddie A Possible Case of a Haida Oral History that refers to an Ancient Voyage from the Northwest Coast to Hawaii. John Swanton, as part of The Jessup North Pacific Expedition, recorded a Haida story in the period between the winter and spring of 1900-01 from an old man, known only as Walter, who belonged to the Rear-Town-People of Yan. He considered the stories of Walter to be the most trustworthy. The narrative written in the Masset dialect of the Haida language and in English is entitled: Those Who Were Blown to Sea from Nasto. It tells the story of a man named Eagle, of the West Coast-Gi’tans – a principle Eagle family in this … Continue reading “Haida Gwaii to Hawaii”

Wooden Self-Armed Fishhooks from the Salish Sea.

Chapter in Waterlogged: Examples and Procedures for Northwest Coast Archaeologists. Washington State University Press, Pullman, Washington, 2019. Edted by Kathryn N. Bernick. By Grant Keddie Wet sites contain many artifact types that link the archaeological and ethnographic records. Occasionally they also produce objects that do not match the known record. Here, I expand upon our knowledge of one unusual type, the self-armed wooden fishhook, and examine Croes’ (2003:52—55) hypothesis that the technology survived into postcontact times on the northern Northwest Coast but not in the south. This hypoth­esis assumes that self-armed wooden fishhooks were used for catching cod in both regions. However, ethnographic and ethnohistoric evidence for the northern coast indicates that self-armed wood hooks were used to catch sablefish rather than … Continue reading “Wooden Self-Armed Fishhooks from the Salish Sea.”