Northwest Coast Indian people of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), British Columbia, Can., and southern Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, U.S. Their language, also called Haida, belongs to the Na-Dené language family. Each child born was assigned at birth to one of two major tribal divisions, or moietiesthe Raven and the Eaglebased on maternal descent. Marriages between two members of the same moiety were taboo. Each moiety consisted of lineages that owned rights to land, had their own chiefs, waged war, held ceremonies such as the potlatch, and functioned as economically independent units. Haida economy was based on fishing and hunting. The Haida continue to be known for their craftsmanship and their art, which includes the carving of totem poles. Haida descendants numbered more than 20,000 in the early 21st century.
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