Monday, November 29, 2010
A bit of Haida blanket history
The first items the Haida wanted from white traders were iron blades to make their wood carving easier and later they wanted cloth blankets, and buttons. Freda Diesing (1993) states that "After 1880, missionary influence and the law discouraged the Haida people from using their blankets and other traditional garments; many were sold to museums. After 1950, some people started making button blankets again." By at least 1970, many people had button blankets again, and this led to the revival of the dances some ceremonies, but it cannot have the same meanings as it did originally. Much of the past has been forgotten.
Doreen J., & Freda Diesing (1993) Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth. Canada Council: 'Ksan Publications