Old Masset, Haida Gwaii

May 12, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Bird

On our second day on Graham Island in Haida Gwaii, we rode an old school bus to the northernmost Haida village of Old Masset. Our driver, Dan, an Old Masset native who lives in Queen Charlotte City, periodically answered our questions along the way in a slow and steady voice that carried to the back of the bus. As we traveled the hour-and-a-half journey along the east side of the island, we passed through the thick-wooded lowlands that are home to the supernatural Creek Woman, who is thought to be the protector of these forests of spruce, hemlock, and red cedar.  

In Old Masset, master Haida carvers James Hart and Christian White graciously welcomed us into the houses and workshops where their heritage was on display. In return, all we had to do was listen politely and show our respect. We were so warmed by this new friendship that it hurt to leave Old Masset at the end of the day. However, we take with us the reminder that in Haida country no one goes home hungry or longing for shelter. We will keep this reminder with us for the rest of our days.

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About the Author

Lynn Wilbur

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Lynn is a marine biologist and underwater photographer whose passion lies in the intertidal zone. Lynn’s love of the ocean began when she was just four years old after experiencing a tide pool for the first time, and she received her first scuba certification immediately after graduating from high school. Her interest in photography also started when she was a youngster, shooting black and white film with an old box camera that her mother found at a thrift store.   

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