SGang Gwaay XVI


A panorama shot from the back of a house feature at SGang Gwaay last November. Below is one shot from the front of the house.

This is House 12 on this web page which has some information and historical photos.

SGang Gwaay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on an island on the south-west side of Gwaii Haanas


If you don’t know where SGang Gwaay is, check out this map (here)  and if you use the “street view” yellow person icon you can take a virtual tour along the trail through the village.


Click the SGang Gwaay tag at the bottom of this post (or just click here) to see many more images taken during many visits while working in Gwaii Haanas.





6 thoughts on “SGang Gwaay XVI

  1. Pingback: SGang Gwaay XVIII | burnt embers

  2. in reading the web page on the mortuary (and other) poles I saw that several were taken away and are in museums. Was there any controversy with removing the poles?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi dogsdolls. Hopefully one of my Haida viewers will answer your question. However, I will try, but I am likely to miss the nuance.
      I think at the time there was not much controversy – the removal of poles was negotiated with Chiefs in Skidegate, I think over a two year period (such a negotiation was highly unusual and set a much higher standard for such “collecting” activities). The Chiefs forbade removal of mortuary and memorial poles so only frontal poles were taken. Mortuary poles hold or held human remains in the top chamber. Memorial poles are the equivalent but for people whose bodies were not recovered (lost at sea, etc). Frontal poles display the inherited crests that are property of a clan (things like raven, eagle, beaver, killer whale, thunderbird, grizzly bear, black bear, cumulus cloud, and so on) – people could tell whose house it was by the combination of crests on the frontal pole.
      Many Haida I know now seem to resent the removal of the poles and that they were not left in place to slowly decay with the others as is considered proper. But many others seem to have mixed feelings because they see the poles in good condition in museums and they see the steadily and ever more rapid decay of the ones in the village and are grateful for the preservation and the examples of Haida artistic genius and to have them available to study and learn from, but still resentful of the removal.
      It is likely that eventually many poles will be repatriated to the Haida Gwaii museum where they will be closer to home and available for the community members to see and love and learn from.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Joseph! I really like how the mortuary and memorial poles along the front of the village are silhouetted against the mist – it gives a sense of the village as a whole which is very hard to capture.

      Liked by 1 person

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