Mouse Woman Picture

Mouse Woman, guide between the human and non-human realms of Haida myth.

Spirit of Haida Gwaii Statue

A canoe containing thirteen mythological figures of the indigenous Haida people of the west coast of North America.


*the following are excerpts from the statue's plaque.

-The canoe contains both Raven and Eagle - the two sides of the Haida social order; women and men, a rich man and a poorer man, animals and human beings. It is an image not only of one culture but of the entire family of living things: Not all is peace and contentment in this crowded boat, but whatever their differences, they are paddling together, in one boat, headed in one direction.

-Among the creatures and humans represented are the Raven, the trickster of the Northwest Coast,

-holding the steering oar; under his tail is the Mouse Woman, the traditional guide to travellers between the human and non-humanrealms of Haida myth.

-In the bow is the Grizzly Bear;

-paddling on the port side is [Bear's] human wife, the Bear Mother.

-Between [Bear & Bear Woman] are their children, the Two Cubs.

-Behind the Bear Mother is the Beaver, an uncle of the Raven, who hoardedall the fresh water and fish in the world.

-Behind [Beaver] is the Dogfish Woman, a shape-changing creature, part human and part shark.

-Across from the Bear Mother is the Eagle.

-Beneath Eagle, perched on the gunwale is the Frog.

-Behind the shoulders of the Wolf is a human paddler whom Reid calls "the Ancient ReluctantConscript".

-At the centre of this menagerie stands the shaman, known in Haida as "Kilstlaai". His robe and staff, sculpture within sculpture, portray the Seabear, the Raven and the Killer Whale - allusions to other stories central to the Haida view of the world.


Gift of Nabisco Brands Toronto, Canada

artist: Bill Reid

Embassy of Canada
501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington D.C.
Grizzly Bear and Cub
Hermaphrodotes
Mouse Woman
Athena sketch1
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