Friday, 20 October 2000

Cedar: Lifeblood to an Island

Tsyyaaay: The arrival of cedar, called “Tsuuaay” by the Haida, had profound effects on the material culture of the Haida (Approx 4000 BC). Once they were able to build canoes to fish year round (Halibut, Red Snapper, Ling Cod etc) and could access sea mammals, they no longer only depended on the salmon to return at certain times. The cedar bent wood box, a genius idea in food conservation and storage, allowed them to store food for the winter and reduced their dependence on hunting land mammals throughout the year wained.

Birth of a New Tradition: The arrival of cedar marked a whole new stone tool tradition. The micoblades are abandoned for larger ground tools, which are more appropriate for working with cedar.