Charles Edenshaw was a Haida carver who was born in Skidegate (Saangga.ahl Sdast'aas Eagle Clan). It is recorded that he was sickly when young, and at this time began carving argillite. His father, a noted canoe carver, died a few years later, so at eighteen he went to live with his uncle, Albert Edenshaw, in qang (Kung) village. When Albert moved to Masset in the 1870s, Charles would have accompanied him. He married Isabella in a Haida ceremony around 1873. After choosing his english name Charles, and surname Edenshaw (based on the Haidi name Edinso), he was baptized and remarried in an Anglican church. He worked as a fulltime artist for most of his life, producing painted bentwood boxes, miniature and large totem poles, masks, chief's staffs, argillite totem poles, and gold and silver jewellery. The objects were created for First Nations' use as well as being commissioned by collectors for major museums. Like other Haida artists of his time, Edenshaw did not sign his work. The works are usually attributed to his hand through a combination of stylistic analysis and provenance. Edenshaw was able to speak Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Chinook jargon and some English and lived and worked in numerous communities, including Sitka, Ketchikan, Port Simpson, Port Essington and Victoria. He died at the age of 81 and is buried in Massett on Haida Gwaii.
Born: c. 1839