Information

Shown below are items associated with Isabella Edenshaw available without first logging in. This person appears in records from MOA, The PAM, The Burke, and The AMNH.

Knowledge shared by institutions

Isabella Edenshaw was a well-known basket weaver and a member of the Shark House (Q’adnas) yahgu'laanaas Raven lineage, originally from the Kaigani Haida village of Klinkwan, Alaska. In 1862 while on a trip to the village of qang (Kung), on Haida Gwaii, Isabella’s parents died of smallpox. Two uncles took her and her aunt Amy home to Klinkwan, but a few years later Chief Albert Edenshaw took them back to qang, where he gave several potlatches on their behalf to raise their status. In the years that followed, he took Amy as his second wife, and adopted Isabella as his daughter. Around 1873 Isabella married Charles Edenshaw in a Haida ceremony. In 1885 they converted to Christianity and remarried in St. John’s Church in Masset with their English names Isabella and Charles Edenshaw. They had eleven children together, and Isabella spent most of her time working in salteries and canneries, raising her children, and weaving spruce hats and baskets for sale in the summer season. Charles Edenshaw, a renowned artist, often painted her finished products before they were sold. Isabella died in 1926 and is buried in Massett, Haida Gwaii.

Born: 1858
Died: 1926