gyảaGang (Respect to Bill Reid Pole)

About this object

Narrative

The pole was raised by hand in a public ceremony at the Museum on Sunday, October 1, 2000, just after it was completed. The pole was commissioned to replace Reid's pole (A50030) which was moved inside the Museum's Great Hall for preservation.

Iconographic meaning

The wolf represents Bill Reid and his clan, K'aadaas Gaah Kiiguwaay; the raven represents the Raven people of the Haida; the woman in the raven's tail symbolizes the Grandmother of the Raven Clan; the eagle represents the Eagle people of the Haida; the woman in the eagle's tail symbolizes the Grandmother of the Eagle Clan; the watchmen look out for danger in the natural and supernatural world. The figures Jim Hart carved were chosen by him in consultation with Haida elders and members of Bill Reid's family, originally from the village of T'aanuu.

Physical description

House frontal pole on the Haida house. Figures are (from base to top): wolf with painted black eyebrows and eyes, red nostils and lips, and with paws raised and tail raised vertically; raven with red beak and a woman with a labret sitting on its tail; eagle with protruding beak and a woman with a labret on its tail; three watchmen looking out to front and sides. The base of the pole is wrapped in copper sheeting. Some of the large cracks in the pole have been filled.