Thursday, 12 March 2009
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 for local halibut, red snapper and ling cod and increased their access to sea mammals, they were granted a bit of freedom. They still enjoyed their relationship to the spawning cycle of the salmon but cedar gave them options. The cedar bent wood box, a genius idea in food conservation and storage, allowed them to store food for the winter. Often carved with exquisite detail, the cedar bent wood box became art, status and lifebood.