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Transcript of The Haida
Arts and Crafts
Famous Haida Artist
Politics and Society
Most of the Haida First Nations speak English nowadays, but some Haida elders speak their native Haida language alongside English.
It is now an endangered language because most of the current generation of Haida are no longer learning their own language, but there are some Haida working hard to keep their language alive.
Traditional Name of Group and Meaning
,” the English word “
” is an English pronunciation of the word “
”, which means “person ” in the Haida’s traditional language.
The traditional territory of the Haida First Nations are the islands of Haida Gwaii, which are now also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The Haida First Nations
Presentation by Tim, Hanson, and Hugo
Haida Deerskin Bag
Haida Headress Frontlet
Born of a Haida mother and a German father, Bill Reid was once a radio announcer who had an interest for traditional Haida art. After a life changing event, Bill Reid devoted his life to copying the work of his forefathers.
After working with jewelery pieces, Reid eventually moved on to work on public sculptures and made many famous pieces, such as
The Spirit of Haida Gwaii
What Resources Did Their Territory Contain?
- Primarily logged cedars in their area; gathered edible plants
- Mainly fished the pacific salmon to eat
- Also used sea otter, oyster, crab, sea smelt, seals, and euchalon fish.
- They milked mountain goat and hunted elks and mountain deer which were abundant in their area.
How Did They Gather Their Resources?
- The large number of cedars in their area were from way back in time.
- Seal clubs and harpoons were used to fish.
- Tools like sledgehammers were used to split wood or cedars.
- Fishlines and nets were also made out of cedar.
- Many miscellaneous tools contributed to their gathering of resources, and some tribes still use traditional methods to gather materials even today.
How Did They Utilize Their Resources?
- They mainly used the animals in the mainland like mountain deer and skinned them to provide clothing, shelters, etc. to keep themselves warm and to survive.
- Salmon was roasted on pikes over a fire to create roast salmon or salmon jerky.
- Cedar was used to construct most of their structures and was used for countless tools such as hammers, spears, and bowls.
What Resources Were Obtained Through Trade, and From Whom?
- The Haida traded heavily with the Coast Tsimshian and Tlingit.
- With the Coast Tsimshian they traded canoes, slaves, and shells for copper, Chilkat blankets, and hides.
- With the Tlingit they traded canoes, seaweed, and dried halibut for eulachons and soapberries
- Internal trade between Haida communities was present as well.
How Was Their Society Organized?
- The Haida were separated into two social groups, the
group was separated into 22 lineages or families, and the
- All Haida villages contained members of both groups and several lineages
- Marriage had to be between
. Marriage between members of the same group was not possible.
- Children became members of their mother's group
- Each member of a lineage had entitlement to resources and areas, as well as myths, dances, and songs
- Each household had an average size of 30-40 people and was made of about 10 closely related nuclear families of a lineage. They were led by a chief.
- The more powerful you were, the more people you had in your household.
- Totem poles of houses showed one's social status and importance. The bigger your pole, the more important you were.
Who Were Their Leaders, and How Were They Chosen?
- Each lineage recognized a chief who could act as a war chief in times of conflict
- The town chief was the head of the most populous or most wealthy lineage in a town
- The rank of chief was passed down by inheritance through the matrilineal line, usually to the chief's eldest sister's son.
Was Their Society Matriarchal or Patriarchal?
- The Haida society was patriarchal, but matrilineal.
Who Were Their Traditional Allies and Enemies?
- The Haida sometimes fought the other tribes of the Northwest Coast, such as the Tsimshian and the Tlingit.
- Haida villages sometimes fought each other
- Because of their fearsome sea battle tactics, other First Nations groups tried to avoid sea battles with the Haida
- Being on the Haida Gwaii islands, the Haida had natural protection from possible invaders
- They were often the raiders/attackers.
What Are Their Traditional Beliefs?
- To the Haida, animals were special people, more intelligent than a human and had the ability to transform into humans.
- Animals were thought to live on land, in the sea, and in the sky, in a social order that mirrored the Haida.
- Traditional beliefs of the Haida have been greatly displaced by Christianity, though many Haida still believe in reincarnation.
- The Haida people believe strongly in reincarnation, and sometimes chose the parents to whom they were to be reborn to before their death. It was believed that once dead, their soul was carried in a canoe to the Land of Souls to wait for reincarnation.
- The Haida often prayed and gave offerings.
What are Their Traditional Ceremonies and Special Occasions?
- Major ceremonial events of the Haida included feasts, potlatches, and dance performances.
- A potlatch was usually held to mark a significant event in a family. Lasting several days and nights, the potlach was the most important of Haida ceremonies.
- High ranking men were expected to host these ceremonies
Who Are Their Important Mythological Figures?
- An important mythological figure to the Haida was the Raven. He was the hero of Haida mythology, being a benevolent figure who helps the people and their development. But at the same time, the Raven was a trickster. There are many Haida stories about the Raven that had to do with his poor behavior, causing trouble for both the people and himself.
- The "Property Woman" was a spirit who brought good fortune to anyone who saw her.
What Kind of Legal System Did They Have?
"Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida Art - Artists." Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida Art - Artists. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
"Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida Villages - Haida Gwaii Villages." Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida Villages - Haida Gwaii Villages. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
"Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida Villages - Warfare." Civilization.ca - Haida - Haida Villages - Warfare. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
"Civilization.ca - Haida - The People and the Land - Social Organization."Civilization.ca - Haida - The People and the Land - Social Organization. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
"Countries and Their Cultures." Religion and Expressive Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
"Native Languages of the Americas: Haida Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories."Haida Legends (Folklore, Myths, and Traditional Indian Stories). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
"The Northwest Coastal People - Food / Hunting / Tools." The Northwest Coastal People - Food / Hunting / Tools. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Redish, Laura, and Orrin Lewis. "Haida Indian Fact Sheet." Facts for Kids: Haida Indians (Haidas). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
- The legal system of the Haida was based off the social hierarchy.
- The chief would often decide on legal matters of a tribe, giving them a huge responsibility.