Raven in the MoonRaven In the Moon Logo

Haida Art by Don Pongracz,
Old Massett Band, Haida Gwaii

Raven In The Moon

Drawings, Carvings, Bent Knives, Jewellery, Metal Work, Fabric, Paintings: ART. Each piece of furniture, clothing, spoon, all adorned with the memories, the strong myth, the survival of the Haida People was guaranteed by their ability to maintain and preseve their culture. But...It was difficult.

Don learned carving by watching others carve. He was born in 1951. His home, in Prince Rupert, was a house other Haida's remember. In its basement he watched his uncles carve and make the famous bent knives. Don still makes his own knives. Don watched the carvng, listened to the stories and he learned.

frog in progress

For Don Carving is a way he connects with his culture. His mother was in Residential School, like so many she would not teach her children their language. There was so much closeness, when Don was a child, with his relatives and family. Their home was a place where Haida's visiting could stay, and be safe. Being moved from the home in Prince Rupert to Castlegar as a child was hard for him. He had spent time in Prnce Rupert, where he lived, and in Old Massett where he and his brother stayed with his Uncle and grandfather. In Castlegar he made friends, went to school, started a new life, but part of him always clung to who he was. It was his father's desire to keep his children away from the residential school. To Don, his family, has always been his primary root, and his path.

small pole
Carvers are always Dreamers

Life, Love and History

Don Port Simpson

Don worked for a time in Port Simpson. He has good memories of his life there. The sea means something to Haida's always traveling in those great canoes. Althought the fish cannery in Port Simpson ended for a time, this was the reason Don was there, the energy of that dream is still infused in his carvings.


Don spent time in Castlegar growing up. Carvers come from various cultures. In his home, Don has these cherished carved Doukhobor spoons made by his friend, and fellow carver, Pete Oglow. One of the paddles there was traded for a Van that served him for a number of years. Also there is a talking stick and a pipe.

Jayden's vest