Just back from the Queen Charlottes with a sketch of this magnificent totem. Haida Gwaii means "Islands of the People".
I recently read a book by China Galland called Longing for Darkness, subtitled Tara and the Black Madonna in which she described her ten-year journey to discover the meaning of darkness in the mysterious black images of divinity. She conducted a deeply personal investigation taking her from New Mexico through Nepal, India, Switzerland, France, Yugoslavia, and Poland - places where gods like Tara, the female Buddha of the Tibetan tradition, and the Black Madonna are venerated today.
I hope she is able soon to visit the totems at Masset where she might find another Black Madonna.
We traveled across the country by train. In Halifax, there is a wonderful Immigration Museum at Pier 1 ... stories and old pictures of folks coming into the country by boat. I guess people arrive here at an airport now.
There was a very old woman sitting on a bench nearby, and she was sobbing and sobbing. They spoke a language I didn't understand, but I think it was Polish. Apparently she'd arrived here in the 40's during WWII