Haida Gwaii — the island chain off the coast of British Columbia formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands — has a long history of terrific native artistry. While visiting the islands, we made a stop in the small community of Old Massett which sits on the site of several historic Haida villages.
It was in Old Massett that some of the Haida people who had survived the devastating wave of smallpox that arrived with white settlers started regrouping in the late 19th century. Today, Old Massett is the administrative center for the Council of the Haida Nation.
Old Massett is home to the Islands’ largest collection of contemporary totem poles, which are located throughout the village. There are several skilled totem carvers who live here and you’re free to drop by their workshops if they’re open (as we did).
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