Xaad Xilaa Gyaahlaang Gyaa'aang
Haida Medicine Story Pole
Before I start the description of this pole I must apologize for not having a "free" photo (free of ropes) of this pole. By the time we left the feast it was too dark to get a photo so it will have to wait until I am in Old Masset again. ~ Carolyn
First Figure(above and below ropes): Chiefs Son. He is wearing a bear headdress and holding a copper shield. He has gone to Taan(bear) Mountain to fast. He also takes Devils Club for ten days. During the purification he recieves a visition, a song, names, story or something valuable. The copper is a symbol of wealth. It has a carving of Devil's Club on it.
Second Figure: Mouse Woman, Kagan Jaad. She is a little lady. She gives medicine and advise to the hero of the story for help she has recieved.
Third Figure: The Shaman is a person who can travel to the world of the Supernaturals. He is wearing a crown of mountain goat horns and a cedar bark headband. He has a bone in his nose.
Fourth Figures: The Watchmen (in the hands of the Shaman), they hold the future of Haida Gwaii. These Watchmen represent the communities of Old Masset, Masset and Port Clements coming together to build the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital.
Fifth Figure: Is The Sacred One Standing and Moving. He wears Wasco, seawolf ears with pilot whales inside to represent the Wasco skin he wore for protection in his ordeal to hold up Haida Gwaii. He also wears a Raven's Tail blanket with designs. When he gets up to move there is an earthquake.
His sister is a supernatural creek woman. Her name is Elder Berry Flute Player. When there is an earthquake the Raven says, "Don't spill the duck grease".
You need to know the legends to fully understand what all these figures represent and only the Haida can truly appreciate what they mean but I am so honoured that they are shared with us.
Please click on photos to help identify figures on the pole and see previous post for the pole raising. ~ Carolyn