The Museum is pleased to announce that the Haisla G’psgolox pole, which has been located in the Swedish Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm for some 80 years, will be returned to the community of Kitamaat this summer. On its way home, the pole is being shown here at MOA for about six weeks, from Wednesday, April 26 through Sunday, June 18.
The pole, which is 9 meters long, is displayed horizontally, just opposite Bill Reid?s carving of ?The Raven and the First Men.? It was first erected in the Kitlope Valley (about 600 km northwest of Vancouver) in 1872 by G’psgolox, chief of the Kitlope people, now known as the Haisla. The images of three bears on the pole represent Tsooda, Asoalget, and a mythical grizzly, symbols of spiritual power. In 1929, the pole was transported by ship to Sweden, where it was acquired by the National Museum of Ethnography, and held in storage for nearly 50 years. In 1980, when a new museum was built, the pole was raised and displayed publicly in specially-designed central hall. For years, the Haisla First Nation, as well as many individuals and organizations around the world, have worked to have the pole returned to the Kitlope Valley. Now, finally, the G’psgolox pole is going home to Kitamaat, where the community is fundraising to build a permanent home for the pole, via a cultural/governance center, Q’adilas.
Special thanks to the Na na kila Institute and Ecotrust Canada for their assistance in organizing the exhibition of the G?psogolox pole at MOA. For more details, please visit nanakila.ca.