House Posts (RBCM 2104, 2105)

House posts in Thunderbird Park standing at the front corners of a Haida house

The house posts from Numnuquamis hold up house beams from T'anuu Llnagaay in a mixed-up version of a Haida house in Thunderbird Park, as seen in this 1950 photograph. I-29815.

Man standing beside house post next to newer  house.

The original big house had been dismantled and the pole stood among newer buildings constructed with milled lumber in the European fashion when Charles F. Newcombe took this photograph of the one of the posts (now RBCM 2104) in 1911. PN 11465.

House post standing in foliage.

The house post that is now RBCM 2105 photographed by Charles F. Newcombe at Numnuquamis in 1911. PN 12764.

Haida house front with the house posts at the front corners.

 RBCM 2015 in Thunderbird Park. T. W. S. Parsons photograph, undated but about 1950. PN 6456.

Detail of house post in Thunderbird Park at front of Haida house.

RBCM 2014 in Thunderbird Park. E. W. A. Crocker (Trio) photograph, undated but about 1950. PN 11689.

Colour drawing of two house posts by John Smyly.

Museum technician John Smyly’s drawings of the house posts from Numnuquamis.

These are two of four house posts that supported the roof beams of a traditional house in the Huu-ay-aht village of Numnuquamis at the mouth of the Sarita River in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. They are said to have belonged to John Mack and were purchased for the Royal BC Museum by collector Dr Charles F. Newcombe in June 1911.

The house posts were exhibited out of context in Thunderbird Park when it was created about 1940. They were placed at each end of the painted facade of an inaccurate version of a six-beam Haida house, where they supported two Haida house beams from T'anuu Llnagaay.  They were later moved into the museum and restored.

Under the terms of the Maa-nulth Treaty, which came into effect in 2011, one of these house posts (RBCM 2014, which now stands in the glass enclosure at the Museum’s east doors) will be returned to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations when requested. The other house post (RBCM 2015, which is in the First Peoples gallery) will remain at the Royal BC Museum.

Do you have a story to share about this item? Add your voice to the community.