UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia
Many of the totem poles in the Museum came from the village of Ninslits (Skungwa’ai) on the Queen Charlotte Islands which is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Update: In 2009, the Queen Charlotte Islands were renamed Haida Gaii (“Islands of the People”) as part of a reconciliation agreement between government and the Haida people.
I love the totem poles but this trip I found the masks with their many shapes and colours to be especially interesting (perhaps because Hallowe’en was only a few days earlier). If in the Vancouver area I highly recommend visiting this museum. It isn’t huge but it is definitely unique.
Masks, masks, and more masks. Each unique in its own way.
Haida houses were built on a ‘post and beam’ construction framework.Â These two buildings depict a Haida family home andÂ a mortuary chamber.Â Although there is some wide angle lens effect on perspective, the people in the foreground will give some idea of the size of these poles and structures.
The largest teaching museum in Canada, the UBC Museum of Anthropology has exhibits from around the world with a specific emphasis on the first peoples of Canada’s Pacific Ocean coastline. It is both a public museum and a important part of the life of the University of British Columbia.
Without preservation and the museum’s efforts many of the wooden artifacts of the Haida and other First Nations peoples of Canada’s Pacific coast would rot away through natural causes.