Daily Archives: January 17, 2010

Even more on the Wilson Duff – SGang Gwaay Musical

Haida House and pole. Source: Duff and Kew, 1957.

A month or two ago I made several posts (1 , 2, 3) about a forthcoming musical called Beyond Eden, which tells the story of the 1957 expedition to ‘rescue’ poles from the Haida Town of SGang Gwaay (PDF).

I notice The Tyee has a very good overview of this musical (which opens tonight) including some comments from Roy Jones Sr. of Skidegate, last seen on this blog as a young man climbing poles in 1957 CBC archival footage.  Says The Tyee:

Now in his mid-80s, he is reflective about the experience, having enjoyed the physical work and the company of members of the crew — but about cutting the poles? “It didn’t feel right,” he said. However, the Skidegate Band Council had approved the work and many felt it was the right thing to do. Further to that, Jones was on a recent trip to The Chicago Field Museum and saw one of the poles taken from Skedans (an expedition he was also on). “If they hadn’t taken it at that time, it would have been ruined, I think,” he said.

It is good to see some Haida perspective on both the events of 1957 and on this musical.  I also didn’t realize Nathalie at the Qay museum was a student of Wilson Duff’s — I’ll have to buy her a coffee and pump her for stories next time I am up on the islands. It’s a good article — The Tyee is doing some of the best journalism in BC right now.

Poster for "Beyond Eden" musical. Click to buy tickets; scroll down for title song.

ASBC Victoria January Meeting

Haida Gwaii watershed above Sunday Inlet.

The Archaeological Society of British Columbia is a long-established society which promotes knowledge and conservation of BC Archaeology.  The Victoria Chapter is particularly active (though they need to update their website and blog).  They aim for a public lecture every month. There are also chapters in Nanaimo and Vancouver.

This month’s Victoria talk, which is free and open to the public, is:

Watersheds and Coastal Archaeology: A Northwest Coast Perspective.

Jan. 19, 2010, 7:30 pm Pacific Forestry Centre, 506 West Burnside Road.

Rich Hutchings

The watershed or basin has been considered a primary unit of analysis for hydrologists, geologists, ecologists, human geographers, and historians. On the Northwest Coast, the economic significance of riverine settlement has long been a central focus, yet it is only in the last decade that anthropologists have begun to contemplate the social, political and ideological implications of rivers, river edges, and, to a lesser degree, basins. In this lecture, I will explore the concept of watersheds as a unit of analysis for archaeologists working on the Coast. Specifically, I consider the notion of what I call ‘watershed identity’, the issue of territorial boundaries, and the social implications of changing basin landscapes. Finally, these issues are highlighted in relation to the increasing threat of coastal erosion and its impact on maritime heritage, a concern for archaeologists and communities alike in this region.

Biography: Rich Hutchings was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Having trained and worked as a diver in the marine industry, Rich completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Idaho, Moscow. He then undertook research in the area of alluvial and coastal geoarchaeology on the Nooksack River, earning his Masters degree from Western Washington University, Bellingham in 2004. Rich is currently pursuing Doctoral research at the University of British Columbia, looking at maritime cultural landscapes, coastal erosion, and marine heritage management in the Sechelt area. For information, phone 384-6059 or e-mail asbcvictoria@gmail.com