A rare stone called Argillite known as black slate can be found in the Charlottes, and is only visited by the Haida for it’s use. It is a known fact that this is a Haida resource and everyone respects that. This dull grey stone transforms into a beautiful black shiny Art form when it is carved. This brilliant material was and is still used to carve free forms and miniature totem poles. These Art pieces can be seen in museums around the world. People of the Islands, other than Haida ancestry respect the slate chuck or mountain as private property of the Haida and do not visit it except by invitation only.

Norman Price argillite totem

Acknowledgements: Argillite by Douglas Wilson, Potlatch by Steltzer, Islands at the Edge by the Islands Protection Society, Ninstints: Haida World Heritage Site by George McDonald, Bill Reid, Beyond the Essential form by Karen Duffek, Totem Poles by Hilary Stewart, Haida: Their Art and Culture by Leslie Drew.

Categories: Haida Culture

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