Giving New Life to Haida Art and the Culture It Expresses

Robert Davidson and Bill Reid rediscovered their past with the help of anthropologists, old books, tribal elders and a common ancestor

Europeans and their American relatives have praised the art of the Haida people of Haida Gwaii, the islands south of Alaska designated on maps as the Queen Charlottes, since first encountering it in the late 18th century. But at the time Robert Davidson was born in 1946, few masters remained.

Today, Davidson is one of the most prominent among a group of Haida artists, including Bill Reid, who, through producing works inspired by designs developed over a thousand years, have helped restore the artistic and cultural traditions of their people.

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