ANCIENT VILLAGES AND TOTEM POLES OF THE NISG̱A'A

G̱alts’abim Gwin̓ahaa - Village of Gwin̓ahaa

Explore the Ancient Village of Gwin̓ahaa - move the eagle cursor over each longhouse and totem pole to see the Nisg̱a’a House and click to view further details of each totem pole.
The artist’s image and pole descriptions for Gwin̓ahaa are based approximately on the year 1895, according to the best historical information currently available.

Map of Gwin'ahaa Link to Remnants of Gnawing Pole Link to Rainbow Pole Link to Bears Den Pole Link to Half Protruding Pole

G̱alts’aphl Gwin̓ahaa

Hlaa t’ip-mihl g̱alts’abim Gitwinksihlkw ahl 1885 g̱anhl 1892. Hlaa ts’uu gilp’ilhl mihl Gitwinksihlkw, n̓i wil jag̱a-lukwdiit sag̱alts’apkwdiit ahl Underleaf g̱alax̱dilit, ii g̱ageets’ihl Gitwinksihlkw. Ii wayt ts’w̓inḵhl gisi-g̱ageets’ihl Underleaf wil dii t’aahl sii g̱alts’aphl Gwin̓ahaa. “Amg̱oogithl anjoḵ,” n̓ihl anhihl Gwin̓ahaa.

Nidii sim n̓akwhl joḵhl gat ahl Gwin̓ahaa iit maḵsa’andiit amaa pts’aan. Gilp’ilhl amaa pts’aanhl giigwihl Canadian Museum ahl Civilizationahl Gatineau, Quebec. Pts’aanim sbi-smax, pts’aans Sim’oogit Ax̱dii M̓in-Aajax̱, Lax̱gibuu. Ii pts’aanim n̓ii-ḵ’an-sgi, pts’aans Gwaanis g̱ans W̓ii Lax̱ha Gisḵ’aast, ii Gitsbutwida n̓idit.

Hlaa bax̱-yeehl Ḵ̱’alii-Aksim Lisims 1917, ii ḵ’am hlibuuhl gwilks-lugwit ahl Gitwinksihlkw, iit siwatdiit ahl Canyon City. Ii g̱oodahl hlag̱ats’uuhl gat ahl g̱alts’ap wil wanhl g̱asimutkwsit saxwhl Lisims.

Village of Gwin̓ahaa

The village of Gwin̓ahaa was founded in the aftermath of two great fires that destroyed the large village of Gitwinksihlkw in 1885 and 1892. After the second fire, the people relocated across the river to a place called Underleaf and to a second site on the south bank and two kilometres downriver called Gwin̓ahaa, meaning “Beautiful place”.

Gwin̓ahaa had a relatively brief existence as a village, but a handful of exemplary totem poles were raised in the span of approximately one decade. Two of the finest were the Bear’s Den Pole and the Rainbow Pole, both of which now stand in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec.

In 1917, Gwin’ahaa and Underleaf were destroyed by flooding and several families moved back to Gitwinksihlkw, which was renamed Canyon City. Several other families moved to Ging̱olx̱, which by that time was a large and thriving Christian mission village at the mouth of the Nass River.