Haida Canoe making traditions continue to this day. Several Haida canoes have been made during the last decade. Each canoe receives a name given by its creator.

Three stunning examples of contemporary Haida canoes are Lootaas--The Wave Eater; Seal Hunter; and Yalth-Tluu, Raven Canoe.
Haida Canoe making traditions continue to this day. Several Haida canoes have been made during the last decade. Each canoe receives a name given by its creator.

Three stunning examples of contemporary Haida canoes are Lootaas--The Wave Eater; Seal Hunter; and Yalth-Tluu, Raven Canoe.

© 1998, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Renowned Haida artist, Bill Reid fulfilled his dream of making a Haida canoe in 1986. The 50 foot Lootaas, or Wave-eater was commissioned by the Royal Bank for EXPO 86 in Vancouver. The canoe was made in Skidegate with the assistance of several Haida carvers over a period of nine months.

Following EXPO, in 1987, the Haida undertook a historic 600 mile journey from Vancouver to Haida Gwaii. The journey re-visited some of the old trading routes along which Haida had not travelled by canoe for a hundred years. Feasts were hosted at every First Nations village along the route to welcome the Haida paddlers and commemorate the historic occasion.

Lootaas embarked on another historic journey in 1989. This time its voyage began in Rouen in northeastern France. A seven-day journey along the Seine River took paddlers to Paris. The end of the voyage coincided with the opening of an exhibition of Haida art at the Musée de l’Homme.
Renowned Haida artist, Bill Reid fulfilled his dream of making a Haida canoe in 1986. The 50 foot Lootaas, or Wave-eater was commissioned by the Royal Bank for EXPO 86 in Vancouver. The canoe was made in Skidegate with the assistance of several Haida carvers over a period of nine months.

Following EXPO, in 1987, the Haida undertook a historic 600 mile journey from Vancouver to Haida Gwaii. The journey re-visited some of the old trading routes along which Haida had not travelled by canoe for a hundred years. Feasts were hosted at every First Nations village along the route to welcome the Haida paddlers and commemorate the historic occasion.

Lootaas embarked on another historic journey in 1989. This time its voyage began in Rouen in northeastern France. A seven-day journey along the Seine River took paddlers to Paris. The end of the voyage coincided with the opening of an exhibition of Haida art at the Musée de l’Homme.

© 1998, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Haida Canoe

Lootaas, the Haida canoe in Vancouver Harbour, 1987.

Photo: Andy Wilson

© Andy Wilson


Paddlers

Close-up of paddlers aboard the Haida canoe, Lootaas, 1987

Photo: Andy Wilson

© Andy Wilson


Canoe

Lootaas, Haida canoe being paddled off the coast north of Vancouver, 1987.

Photo: Andy Wilson

© Andy Wilson


Lootaas on the Seine

Lootaas, the Haida canoe, being paddled along the Seine River at Rouen, northern France, 1989.

Photo: Andy Wilson

© Andy Wilson


Seal Hunter is a thirty foot canoe carved by Christian White, with the assistance of several carvers and helpers. Completed in 1995, Seal Hunter is shown here being carried out from the carving shed to be launched on the beach at Old Massett. The canoe was made by Christian for his father.
Seal Hunter is a thirty foot canoe carved by Christian White, with the assistance of several carvers and helpers. Completed in 1995, Seal Hunter is shown here being carried out from the carving shed to be launched on the beach at Old Massett. The canoe was made by Christian for his father.

© 1998, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Seal Hunter, Haida Canoe

Seal Hunter. Photo courtesy of Christian White

Photo: Christian White

© Christian White


Canoe

Carrying the canoe out of the carving shed Photo courtesy of Christian White.

Photo: Christian White

© Christian White


Canoe

Morris White, Christian White's father, standing beside Seal Hunter.

Photo: Christian White

© Christian White


Canoes

Seal Hunter at Quatuwas Canoe Ceremony at Bella Bella.

Photo: Christian White

© Christian White


Yaalth-Tluu, Raven Canoe, was made in 1990 by Haida carver, Reg Davidson, of Old Massett. The 30 foot canoe was commissioned by a private arts organization in San Francisco as part of a six month public demonstration of traditional Haida arts in San Francisco. After the project, Yaalth-Tluu returned to Haida Gwaii, where it is now used for ceremonial occasions and special events.
Yaalth-Tluu, Raven Canoe, was made in 1990 by Haida carver, Reg Davidson, of Old Massett. The 30 foot canoe was commissioned by a private arts organization in San Francisco as part of a six month public demonstration of traditional Haida arts in San Francisco. After the project, Yaalth-Tluu returned to Haida Gwaii, where it is now used for ceremonial occasions and special events.

© 1998, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Haida Canoe

Launching of Yaalth-Tluu/Raven Canoe in San Francisco.

Photo: courtesy of Reg Davidson.

© Reg Davidson


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the importance of the canoe to current Haida society
  • Describe the relationship between traditional and present day culture in Haida society, using the canoe as an example

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