SEPTEMBER 12, 1920


Born circa 1839, in Skidgate, British Columbia (B.C.), Edenshaw, whose Haida name meant “Noise in the Housepit,” learned to carve canoes from his father.  He began carving argillite and silver at age 14–the first Haida artist to manipulate silver and gold.  He assumed the ceremonial title Chief Eda’nsa in 1885.  When baptized later, he took the name Edenshaw.  His most productive artistic period was from 1880 to 1910.  He carved model poles, canoes and masks for non-natives; wooden settees, cradles, and grave monuments for the Haida.  His works are in the American Museum of Natural History, Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria, Univ. of B.C.’s Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canadian Museum of Civilization in Quebec, and Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England.  The 1st exhibit of his work as “fine art” was the Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in 1927.  Edenshaw’s eyesight deteriorated after 1910.  He died in Massett, B.C.

Source:  Robin K. Wright, “Charles Edenshaw,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography.  Retrieved 7/13/2019,
Photo:  Author unknown.  Date:  Pre-September 1920.  Public Domain in Canada:  Pre-1/1/1949.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  

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