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About Argillite

Black Slate

The Haida craving of (Haida Gwaii) along with coast of Brititish Columbia are notable aboriginal art treasures created from a type of hard, fine black silt argillite, sometimes called "black slate". The black slate occurs only at a quarry on a slatechuck mountain in the upper basin of Slatechuck Creek, near the town of Skidegate on Graham Island. At one time, around 1900, it was shipped to Victoria for manufacturing; today the Haida have a monopoly on use of the argillite. This artwork has been of high quality and prized around the world since the Haida first began carving it to sell to sailors around the 1800; modern Haida carvers continue the tradition.


Haida Gwaii

informally but commonly known as the Queen Charlotte Island and the Charlottes, is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada, populated mostly by Haida people. Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham Island in the north and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands with a total landmass of 10,180 km2 (3,931 sq mi).


Slatechuck Mountain

Slatechuck Mountain is highly important in the culture of the Haida people as the source of a rare black form of argillite used in Haida art. Known also as "black slate", this form of argillite occurs nowhere else in the world and only Haida have the right to quarry it. The black argillite occurs only at certain locations on the mountain's slope, above the basin of Slatechuck Creek. The name "Slatechuck" is a local Chinook Jargon usage, combining "slate" with the word for water, river or lake, and is a reference to the creek being where the slate is found.

Accent Design


Abalone is the shell froma Sea Snail from the coast of British Columbia. Abalone shell is in a ear-shape form that the Haida cut out flate peice to use as accent piece for their Argillite cravings.


Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.


Bone Inlay

The use of bone inlay is very common in the Haida arts. The bone Inlay is usally of Whale bone that has been polished and fitted onto the Argillite carving.


Red Argillite

is a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed predominantly of indurated clay particles. Argillaceous rocks are basically lithified muds and oozes. The red Argillite is also found on Haida Gwaii and it seen on the carvings