Haida, their art and culture

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Hancock House, 1982 - History - 111 pages
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Experts at building and navigating sea-going canoes, the Haida ranged far from their Island stronghold, trading with, and sometimes raiding, the villages of their nearest neighbours -- the Kwakiutl to the south, the Tsimshian across the often-stormy waters of Hecate Straight, and the Tlingit to the north in what is now part of Alaska. There are also Haida in Alaska, referred to as Kaigani Haida, descendants of group who migrated from the Queen Charlotte Islands to Dall Island and Prince of Wales Island before the coming of the white man. These once thriving people were ravaged by disease and the effects of alcohol in the 1800s after the whites arrived. From a population estimated at nearly 7000 in 1835 (perhaps one-tenth of the total native population of what is now British Columbia), the Haida of the Charlottes dwindled to a mere 800 by 1885 and remained low in numbers into this century. Today, the two centres of population are the villages of Haida which has 1000 people, and Skidgate, which has 400. As well, an estimated 2000 Haida reside elsewhere in British Columbia.

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