The Haida believe in re-birth, which means the transfer of identity to a newborn baby. The same person could possibly be transformed many times in different people. It is usually carried on within families and occasionally in non-family members. The way that it is known whom the person is transformed into comes to people in dreams. For example, if a dream is about a person that has passed on and happens before a baby is born, that determines the new identity. If a dream is about a lady and the baby that is born is female, that identifies the baby. It is more than one person who predicts whom the reincarnate is. Sometimes the child will have personality traits of their new identity and have strong bonds with someone who was close to the person that has passed on.
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