Watching over X̱aana Ḵaahlii G̱awg̱aay

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By Graham Richard — Locals welcomed a large logging truck carrying a 54-foot cedar log into the carving shed at the Haida Heritage Center Monday, May 25. The log was off-loaded and set on blocks.

Now, carver Garner Moody will spend at least five months transforming the log into 45-foot-tall monumental pole that will be raised in front of Hlgaagilda, near the playground, and look out over Xaana Kaahlii Gawgaay (Skidegate Inlet). The pole will be carved in the round.

The Skidegate Band Council consulted with hereditary leaders, matriarchs, and elders to decide on what the pole could look like. To honour Haida Gwaii and the people who live here, from bottom to top, they have decided upon taan (bear), ts’ing (beaver),guuajii (wolf), xuuya (raven), hlk’yan k’uust’an (frog), xuuajii (grizzly), k’aaxadaa (dogfish), and ts’aag (mature eagle). The pole will be topped with three watchmen.

The pole’s predecessor, Dogfish Pole, was carved by Iihljiwaas (Bill Reid) and raised in 1978. It stood in front of the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program until being taken down in accordance with the wishes of Iihljiwaas’ family, hereditary leaders, and matriarchs in 2014, due to old age. Dogfish Pole currently resides beside its young, new successor in the canoe shed at Kay Llnagaay.

Taan Forest donated the cedar log, which was selected by Mr Moody and Tony Green.

Categories: Culture


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