Chiefs of the Sea and Sky: Haida Heritage Sites of the Queen Charlotte Islands
This book is drawn from Haida Monumental Art, the mostimportant work yet published on Haida culture. Chiefs of the Seaand Sky presents an overview of extensive research carried out byarcheologist George MacDonald in the 1960s and 1970s to document thehistory of the Haida villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
In this abridgement, MacDonald recounts the history of eighteen ofthe major villages, telling the story of their people and describingthe sites of their houses and other known structures. In hisintroduction he explains how the Haida's immense cedar houses andtotem poles are part of a fascinating spiritual and material culturewhich integrates family history, ritual, and mythology. The historicalphotographs that accompany the text illustrate the richness and varietyof Haida sculpture and they show the villages at the height of theirglory in the 1880s and 1890s and in their subsequent and tragic decay.MacDonald reports on the further deterioration of several of the sitessince publication of Haida Monumental Art in 1983, but he also praisesthe successful efforts of the Haida and their supporters and thecooperation of the Government of Canada in establishing protection overimportant heritage sites in the Southern Queen Charlotte Islands. Hesees in this and in the accomplishments of contemporary Haida artistsan indication that the future of Haida culture looks 'immenselybrighter towards the close of the century than it did at thebeginning.'
Chiefs of the Sea and Sky will be welcomed by thoseinterested in the history of Canada's Native people and by visitorsto the heritage sites of the Queen Charlotte Islands.