Museum and Tanu Pole

This is my final post featuring the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate. Today I show some distant views of the buildings and how the Centre as a whole mimics the layout of a traditional village with a series of houses fronted by poles. I also include a few close-ups, random details, and feature the last of the poles outside and a smaller one inside.

This is one of a series of eight posts about the Haida Heritage Centre, the others can be found through this link.


The final pole outside is free standing at the beach edge and represents the village of T’aanuu Llnagaay, usually shortened to Tanu. The Centre’s website includes the following information about this pole:

Location: standing forward on the beach
CarverGiitsxaa (Ron Wilson)
Clan: St’awas Xaaydagaay (Screech Owl or Witch People of Cumshewa)
Assistants: Victoria Moody and PJ Ellis

The figures from bottom to top:
• SGaana or Killer Whale
• Xuuya or Raven
• Guujii or Wolf
• K’aaxada or Dogfish
• Guud or Eagle


Inside the museum, at the entrance to the galleries beyond which no photos are allowed, stands a small pole by Bill Reid. He was a very important figure in the revival of Haida carving arts and thus the teaching house is named for him in this Centre. The label for this pole (stuck on the wall on a battered bit of white card which I edited it out of the image) tells us that this is the Wolf Raven Pole, carved in 1964.

Entrance to exhibits – no photos beyond this point.



Haida language street signs are a fairly recent phenomena that we met in both Skidegate and Massett. They are part of the concerted effort by the Haida to encourage the use of their language among the younger people.

View from road with Haida place and street names


Parts of the museum building, rear side


To open larger versions of the images below, click on any one of them, use the arrows to  navigate and escape to return to this page.



Canon 5Dii, Nikkor-N (pre-AI) 24mm f2.8 lens and Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens.

13 thoughts on “Museum and Tanu Pole

    • Hi David – series of images tend to come when I get out on a bit of a trip. None planned now, other than a day to Vancouver, so it could be dribs and drabs around Greater Victoria for months now. Sorry about that.


    • The PNW is here and waiting for your visit. There is a great deal of this kind of thing to see, though this is probably the premier facility of its kind, there are many places with fantastic NWC art, and scenery to die for.


    • Thanks Ken – I really like the details on northwest coast poles – there are so many simple but perfect forms in the designs.
      Looking at these a day or two later and I am thinking I over processed some – learning curve still pretty steep on LR4.


    • Thank you so much Paula. It is a pretty special place (just the bay on its own) and for once a building has been put in a beautiful spot without making it seem ruined.


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