In the Archives and Special Collections, just like the rest of the world, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I pulled out a book and from the oatmeal colored cover and unassuming name, Haida Monumental Art by George F. MacDonald, I wasn’t expecting to find too much. What I found when I opened it up was a plethora of fascinating information and interesting photos. The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia constructed vast cedar houses and totem poles, some of the largest in the Northwest.
Haida Monumental Art includes many photos taken during the 19th century of the remote villages whose magnificent art had not been so thoroughly recorded before. The Haida people were known for their seamanship, craftsmanship and trade skills. Just by peeking into this nondescript book, I ended up learning a lot more than I had originally expected.
Check it out on Primo!
The Archives & Special Collections is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:00-3:00 p.m. or by appointment.
By Laure Mounts