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Subject:
Haida carving *PIC*

Ellis Walentine

Here's a teaser. My wife and I are on vacation in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in western Canada, just about as far west as you can get in Canada. Today, in the little town of Old Masset, a traditional Haida village, replete with totem poles and thousands of years of history, we sought out Jim Hart, one of the premier totem pole carvers of the Haida people and, as we subsequently learned, the chief of the Haidas. He and his band of minions are immersed in a two-year-long project, creating an amazing installation for a residence in Vancouver. It will be a wall of a room, approximately 18' wide by 16' high, entirely carved of red cedar, in traditional Haida imagery along with some more modern touches. Just being there, in the midst of giant old-growth cedar logs, in the company of master carvers, was inspiring to say the least.

I'll have a lot more to say later, if and when we get back to civilization and reliable internet service.

Ellis Walentine, Host

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