Published on November 10, 2012 by Amy
Florence Edenshaw Davidson (1896–1993) was a Canadian First Nations artist from the Haida nation who created traditional basketry and button-blankets and was also a respected elder in her First Nations community, the Haida village of Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia.
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She was born in Masset on September 15, 1896, the daughter of the Haida artist Charles Edenshaw (Chief Idɨnsaw) and his wife Isabella (K’woiyəng). She was given the Haida name Jadał q’egəngá (“Story Maid”). She assisted her mother in sewing button blankets when she was a child. She was renowned for her blankets and for sewing baskets of spruceroot and cedar bark.
She was of the Raven moiety, of the Y’akwə’lanas lineage, and of the Shark House (Q’ad Nas), with crests that included Shark, Two-Finned Killerwhale, and Brown Bear.
She married Robert Davidson (1880–1969), a Haida, on February 23, 1911, and had thirteen children.
In the 1960s she was consultant on Haida culture and Masset history to the writer Christie Harris, author of Raven’s Cry. She was also a major consultant on Haida language to John Enrico.
She became well known through her collaborative autobiography written with the anthropologist Margaret B. Blackman, published in 1982.
She died December 13, 1993.
Florence’s grandsons include the artists Reg Davidson and Robert Davidson, who are brothers.