Haida Grizzly – Huaji
‘Haida Grizzly – Huaji’ by Bill Reid – First Nations Northwest Coast Haida Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
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Condition: Minor wrinkling from paper handling.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: The Haida divided the cosmos into three zones: sky world, earth, and underworld; divisions in the animal world corresponded, and within each zone they followed a hierarchy. The Killer Whale ruled over the seals and otters, the bear ruled over earth animals, and the eagle was the chief of all sky creatures. All animals possessed souls like humans, so myths refer to killer-whale people, eagle people, and grizzly-bear people, among many others. Transformations across zones resulted in “hybrid” animals − flying otters, bears with fins, possibly Sea Eggs.
Known as the Protector of the animal kingdom the Bear is the most powerful coastal animal. In the Haida culture, the Bear is known as “Elder Kinsman” and is treated as a noble guest. Whenever a Bear is killed it is brought inside and eagle down is spread upon it to show respect. The Bear is also known for its human-like qualities. Legend says that a First Nations chief’s daughter fell in love with and married a Bear, who happened to be the nephew of the Great Bear Chief. She gave birth to twin bear cubs and was known as the Bear Mother. This created a close relationship between Bears and humans.