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Author MacDonald, G.F.
Year 1996
Title Haida Monumetnal Art: Villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Publisher University of British Columbia Press
City Vancouver

MacDonald, G.F.
1996 Haida Monumetnal Art: Villages of the Queen Charlotte Islands. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver.

MacDonald’s book discusses the monumental art of the Haida peoples, including houses and totem poles. The detailed book includes site plans and detailed descriptions of a number of villages, of which SGang Gwaay is one of the most prominently discussed. The author combines archaeology, ethnography, and historical sources in order to better understand the physical layout of Haida villages. Extensively addressed is how the houses and poles of the Haida fit into Haida history, myth, and culture. The chapter on SGang Gwaay includes the layout of the village, detailed descriptions of each individual house and associated mortuary and totem poles, and a historical account of the village post-contact. Also included are a great number of good quality photographs of the site, particularly of the totem poles. SGang Gwaay is perhaps most famous for its surviving totem poles, but this book does much more than simply document them. MacDonald situates them within Haida culture, along with houses and other monumental constructions, providing much insight into not just the physical makeup of SGang Gwaay, but also its cultural and social complexities.

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