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 Museum Explorer

Daily life in
the Americas

Bear or Goose house

Height: 85.000 cm

AOA 1898.10-20.1

Bear or Goose house

From: Kayang, British Columbia (Haida)
Date: AD 1890s

The Haida people live on the Northwest coast of North America. They used to build wooden houses for their whole clan (extended family) to live in during the wet winter months. Totem poles, memorials to important chiefs, would be raised outside many houses. These can still be seen today, carved with stories about the clan of the owner.

This is a model of one of these houses, belonging to either the Bear or the Goose clan. The pole tells the story of a man who proved that he could hunt by catching a whale. You can see the man and the whale near the bottom of the pole.