Jaalen Edenshaw Gidansda Settee
The Gidansda Settee is a piece that came out of Jaalen and Gwaai’s research into the works of the ancestral artist of the Great Box, a nineteenth century masterwork. The artists’ research journey took them to the Chicago Field Museum where they had identified another bentwood box the believed to be by the artist of the Great Box. They spent several days documenting the box in photos and sketches, assessing whether its conventions and innovations mark it as another work by the master artist. While at the museum, they also had the opportunity to view the Chicago Settee, a chief’s chair used at potlatches as a sign of status. The idea to carve a new seat was inspired by an upcoming potlatch for the Skedans clan. Combining a design adapted from the box front with the concept of the settee, Jaalen embarked on one of the only chief’s chairs to be carved in the last century in Haida Gwaii. The Skedans potlatch took place in April of 2017 when Guujaaw took the name Gidansda and became hereditary chief of the Skedans Clan.