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Harry B. Hawthorn fonds Architectural elements
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Old house posts, Hope Island

Image of two old house posts on Hope Island, BC. The post on the right appears to be the same as a post now housed at the Museum of Anthropology, that was collected from Hope Island in 1956. Both posts feature a human figure with large eyes. On one post, the figure is holding a small face near its waist. On the other post, the figure is holding what appears to be an animal of some kind. The Museum of Anthropology's website provides the following description of the posts: "The posts of the unfinished house of Ha'm'cit were carved by a man from Smith Inlet called Si.wit who moved to Xu'mtaspi and married Tom Omhyid's mother. Ha'm'cit died before the house was finished. (Information provided to Prof. Wilson Duff by Mungo Martin). The artist's potlatch name was P'aczsmaxw. Wayne Suttles places the Xu'mtaspi village as Nahwitti, in historic times, however it was occupied jointly by the Nahwitti, the Yalhinuxw, and the Noqemqilisala (of Hanson Lagoon)."

House posts and beam, Quatsino, BC

Image of the houseposts and beam of what once was a longhouse in Quatsino, BC, on the north end of Vancouver Island. These posts appear to be the same as posts now houses at the Museum of Anthropology (museum item number A50009 a-c). The poles are described on the museum's webiste: "Two upright posts and crossbeam that were part of a large interior house frame (also see records d-f and g-h). The uprights depict sea lions carved in high relief and painted (parts a-b). Their heads are equal size to their bodies. Both part a and b have an eagle in profile within the sea lions front flippers. Part a has a top portion of a face painted on the back of its head that is part of a sisiutl that runs down the seal lions back and into its hind flipper with a serpent's head in each. The cross-beam (part c) is painted and carved as a supernatural double-headed sea lion. All parts are painted black and white with Northwest Coast stylized forms... The Klix'ken (sea lion) House was commissioned by Tza'kyius around 1906, and was the last old style house erected in Xwatis. The beams and figures stood as part of a house frame, and acted as structural supports. Figures represented on house frames were supernatural beings which the family living in the house had the right, through their history and origins, to represent."

House frontal totem pole, Anthony Island

Image of an old house post on Anthony Island, Haida Gwaii. This appears to the same as a post now housed at the Museum of Anthropology. This museum item is decried as follows: "The lower section of a totem, crescent shaped in cross section, carved in shallow and deep relief. From top to bottom: bear with protruding tongue and raven on body, kneeling on head of unknown creature... Figures probably from historical narratives owned by lineages of house owner and wife. Grizzly bear was a crest of the lineages of the 'Striped Town People' and 'Sand Town People' of the Raven Moiety, to one of which the husband may have belonged. The supernatural Snag was also a crest of the 'Striped Town People'. Human arms of the raven or cormorant may indicate ability to transform from animal to human."

House post, Anthony Island

Image of a house post on Anthony Island, Haida Gwaii. This appears to be a post now housed at the Museum of Anthropology (museum item #A50016). This museum item is described as follows: "Totem, crescent shaped in cross section, carved in shallow and deep relief. From top to bottom: human with hands at right angles and fingertips touching. The arms are folded with the elbows resting on squared ears of figure below. Enclosed within this frame is a small human/hawk face with beak, surmounting the head, shoulders, and forepaws of an emerging bear cub. At the base is a bear from whose ears frogs look downward. The bear has curled nostrils; upturned mouth, raised forearms with five fingers folded over each palm, small human face between forearms... Stood at centre of back wall inside house called 'Raven House', belonging to the lineage of the'Sand Town People' of Raven moiety of Kunghit Haida. MacDonald lists it as house number 17... Pole standing when collected...Figures are crests belonging to the lineage of the owners of the house, the 'Sand Town People' of the Raven moiety. They may also refer to the Bear Mother myth."

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