Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Haida (Hydah), the collective name of a group of North American Indians who occupy all the islands and parts of the mainland on the N.W. coast between the Thlinkits in the north, the Carriers (Athabascans) in the east, and the Nootkas of Vancouver in the south. Their chief divisions are the Kaigani, Howkan, Klemakoan, and Kazan at the southern extremity of Prince of Wales Archipelago; the Skiddegates, Cumshawas, Laskits, and Skringwais of Queen Charlotte Islands; the Chimsyans about Fort Simpson and on Chatham Sound; the Nass and the Skenas on the rivers so named from them, the Sebasses on Pitt Archipelago and the shores of Gardner Channel; lastly, the Millbank Sound natives, including the Hailtzas, Bella Bellas, Bella Coolas, and others, with a total population of less than 10,000, scattered over a territory 40,000 square miles in extent. The Haidas speak a stock language of the usual American type, to which Powell has given the name of Skiddigatan, from the chief tribe in Queen Charlotte Islands. Both in physical appearance and mental qualities they differ greatly from all other American aborigines. Although the hair is black and of the general horsetail texture, the complexion is remarkably fair - even the full-blood natives, and especially the women, having their skins as white as ordinary Europeans, so that the blue veins "are seen meandering even in the minutest branches" (Captain Dixon). They also display great skill and an exuberant fancy in their wood and hone carvings, in the heraldic devices of the tall posts set up before the dwellings of the chiefs, and especially in the elaborate tattoo-markings decorating the bodies of both sexes. These markings exhibit the family "crests" or totems, while the carved columns strikingly resemble the figures represented on the monuments of the Mayas and other Central American peoples. (Poole, Queen Charlotte Islands; J. G. Swan, Tattoo Marks of the Haida Indians in Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology for 1882-83, Washington, 1886.)