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(hī`də), Native North Americans living primarily on the Queen Charlotte Islands, off British Columbia, and on the southern end of the Prince of Wales Island, off Alaska. They speak the Haida language, which forms a branch of the family of Nadene languages (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). In physical and cultural characteristics they are closely related to the Tlingit and the Tsimshian; the three tribes belong to the Northwest Coast cultural area (see under Natives, North AmericanNatives, North American,
peoples who occupied North America before the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th cent. They have long been known as Indians because of the belief prevalent at the time of Columbus that the Americas were the outer reaches of the Indies (i.e.
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). Before the advent (early 19th cent.) of white fur traders, the Haida lived in large cedar-plank houses, fished for salmon, and hunted sea mammals; they were noted for their large and well-made dugout canoes. Their society was divided into the Raven and Eagle clans; marriage was always with someone of the opposite clan, and clan membership derived matrilineally. Their customs featured the conspicuous display of wealth (see potlatchpotlatch
, ceremonial feast of the natives of the NW coast of North America, entailing the public distribution of property. The host and his relatives lavishly distributed gifts to invited guests, who were expected to accept any gifts offered with the understanding that at a
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). They then numbered some 8,000, but by 1880 disease, particularly smallpox and venereal infections, had reduced their population to some 2,000. Today most Haida are employed in fishing, canning, and logging; many have left their island homes for mainland life. The artwork of the Haida is widely acclaimed. In 1990 there were close to 2,000 Haida living in the United States and another 2,000 in Canada.


See C. Harrison, Ancient Warriors of the North Pacific (1925); P. Miller, Lost Heritage of Alaska (1967).

References in periodicals archive ?
wrightii sporophytes are known from a few sites in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia, Canada (Iwatsuki, 1961; Persson, 1958; Taylor, 1967).
Environment Canada had issued a storm warning for much of the northern coast, including the area around Haida Gwaii.
Screen the following video that presents some of these delegates sharing information about Haida culture and in particular the section that shows a critical discussion of Raven Transformation Mask: www.
The Queen Charlotte Islands, which are also known by their official indigenous name of Haida Gwaii, comprise about 150 islands located North of Canada's Vancouver Island.
including Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, and Houston.
The social history and aesthetic value of art made by Haida people are subjects often in conflict or marked by a lack of clarity.
West Coast Resorts has become an important part of the island economy in employment and contributions to youth and health programs, through this venture, there will be many benefits realized on Haida Gwaii.
Muhammad Haida noted that a number of studies had been carried out and demands were raised every now and then with regard to improving the streets leading to the city center as well as to renovate the old buildings.
In the main glass-clad atrium, the team created layers of light to provide general ambient illumination and to highlight thematic elements like a totem pole, Haida moon and aurora borealis.
Andy Barber, who served on HMCS Haida in Korea and has recently returned from a visit there, will be the guest speaker.
One bill that passed unanimously was Bill 18, Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act.