Ksan: Historical Village

Ksan VillageThe Ksan Historical Village, near Old Hazelton is considered as a major cultural heritage site if British Columbia. Located near the ancient village of Gitanmaax and right where the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers crosses. It is both an important tourist attraction and a cultural site for the Gitxsan people.

The site faithfully recreates a traditional Gitxsan which are also known as the people of the river of mists. The Gitxsan communities of the 1800’s feature cedar plank communal houses and totem poles with figures from Gitsxan clans and legends. The Ksan village is a reconstructed native village which showcases the arts and crafts of the northwest tribes.

The Ksan Village also houses a Museum where very important collection of First Nations artifacts are placed. Together with the museum, the whole Ksan Historical Village had been receiving visitors from all around the world for more than 30 years now. With an average of 50,000 visitors annually, the village hope to disseminate information about the Gitxsan culture and serves as a center for the Gitxsan people.

The entrance to the village is marked with totem poles which are an attraction by themselves. You can find several other totem poles in the village itself. One of the poles is the Pole of the Silkscreen Studio which contains a crest for each of the four Gitxsan Clans, namely Frog or "Lax See’l", Wolf or "Lax Gibuu", Fireweed or "Gisk’aast", and Eagle or "Lax Skiik".

The Gitxsan were originally of the Pacific North Coast of North America. Their territories extend from the watersheds of the north and central Skeena, Nass, and Babine Rivers stretching for almost 22,000 kilometers all in all.

The Gitxsan have built their homes near the rivers. They settled mainly on the banks of the Skeena River and its tributaries. The present communities are the Gitwangak, Gitanyow, Gitsegukla, Gitanmaax, Kispiox, and Glen Vowell.

Gitwangak is approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the coast and is the most western Gitxsan village. Gitanyow is located between 22-24 kilometers (14-15 miles) from Gitwangak north on the Kitwancool River. Meanwhile, Gitsegukla is between Gitwangak and Gitanmaax on the Skeena River. Gitanmaax is at the junction of Skeena and Bulkley Rivers and is estimated to be 264 kilometers (165 miles) from the coast.

The settlement of Kispiox is about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Gitanmaax and just at the crossing of Kispiox and Skeena rivers. The village of Glen Vowell or Sigit’ox was the latest one, being only a hundred years old. The last village is between Kispiox and Gitanmaax on the Skeena River.


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