The Shaman (Sgaagaa) would be summoned if a Chief or family member fell ill. This would be done as a last resort, after all natural home remedies had been administered. He or she would demand payment for the ceremony to cure the patient. During the ceremony the Shaman would attempt to exorcise the evil spirits from the patient. If the patient still does not recover, blame would more than likely fall upon a slave or lower class person or enemy.
The Haida shaman would always travel on raiding missions to capture slaves and goods. The shaman would predict the weather and know when to leave on the expedition. It was the shamans job to kill the spirits of the enemies. He would also attempt to secure shaman paraphenalia from other enemy Shaman.
The Haida Shaman would have the ability to travel to different places and dimensions, often returning to his physical body and telling his helpers what he had seen and what had to be done next. In one case the shaman directed the men of his village to go to a village far to the south in the head of the what could only be the sea of Cortez to bring back a woman from there.
The Shaman would predict, if not guide a whale to be stranded at a certain place. To be taken for food during a time of famine. Today we do not have Shaman, but we have Spirit Helpers who a Shaman may be speaking through. These people help us with our ceremonies.
Christian was born in Queen Charlotte City and raised in Old Masset, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia). He is from the Dadens Yahgu’7laanaas Raven Clan and his Haida name is Kilthguulans (Voice of Gold). He started carving argillite at the age of fourteen under the direction of his father, Morris White. He studied the work of the great masters and especially of his great-great-grandfather Charles Edenshaw. A self-supporting artist since the age of seventeen, Christian shows an advanced knowledge of Haida forms and an emerging personal style based on narrative story telling and strong use of inlays of various materials, even in his earlier pieces.
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