Gitkinjuaas (Ron Wilson) Haida Artist


Gitkinjuaas (commonly known as Giitxaas) is one of Haida Gwaii’s most noteworthy carvers and artists. He is known for his skill in wood, argillite, copper, gold and silver carving. Gitkinjuaas studied at the Vancouver School of Art, after which he spent several months in Victoria learning wood carving under well-known Kwakwaka’wakw carver Henry Hunt Sr. Evidence of Gitkinjuaas’ handiwork can be noted in various places throughout Haida Gwaii, most notably in the Tanuu cedar totem pole standing outside of the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate (Ḵay Llngaay). It is one of six poles erected to honour Haida villages in southern Haida Gwaii. His work has been shown and honoured in galleries throughout BC. Ron is also an avid poet and has written numerous poetic works.

Meet Gitkinjuaas (Ron Wilson)

Meet Gitkinjuaas (Ron Wilson)

"Gitkinjuaas" (which means "Big Man" in Haida) is an artist who also happens to be a Chief. Gitkinjuaas was born in the village of Skidegate but he is the chief of Cumshewa, a small village on the southern part of Moresby Island. Many of his ancestors moved from Cumshewa to Skidegate and have been there ever since. Although little but ruins are left of the original village, Gitkinjuaas and other Cumshewa clan members keep its memory alive through cultural activities and ceremonies as well as through Gitkinjuaas' artwork.

Gitkinjuaas took up carving as a youngster and later studied formally in Vancouver and Victoria. His works include totems, paddles, jewellery and other items in wildlife and nature themes. He is skilled at both traditional and contemporary imagery.

Gitkinjuaas is intensely connected to the land. In addition to interpreting it through his artwork, he also likes to engage in outdoor activities, particularly food-gathering and fishing. He is active in the community and is a supporter of the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program.

Box 1468
Skidegate, BC V0T 1S1

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