Florence Davidson

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, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

Florence Edenshaw Davidson
Florence Davidson weaves a spruce root hat c. 1976.
Photo by Ulli Steltzer
Native name
Jadał q'egəngá
Born(1896-09-15)September 15, 1896
December 13, 1993(1993-12-13) (aged 97)
NationalityHaida, Canadian First Nations
Known forTraditional basketry and button-blankets; consultant on Haida language
Notable work
During My Time: Florence Edenshaw Davidson, a Haida Woman
Spouse(s)Robert Davidson (1880–1969); thirteen children. Father, Charles Edenshaw. Daughter, Primrose Adams. Grandsons, Reg Davidson and Robert Davidson


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. Her daughter Primrose Adams, also an artist, was the 2011 recipient of the Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nations' Art.[1]

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.


  • Blackman, Margaret B. (1982; rev. ed., 1992) During My Time: Florence Edenshaw Davidson, a Haida Woman. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295959436
  • Harris, Christie (1966) Raven's Cry. New York: Atheneum. (Revised edition, Vancouver, Douglas & McIntyre, 1992.)
  • Jensen, Doreen, and Polly Sargent (1986) Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 9780774802642
  • Macnair, Peter L., Alan L. Hoover, and Kevin Neary (1984) The Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Northwest Coast Indian Art. Vancouver, B.C.: Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 9780888944184


  1. British Columbia Achievement Foundation. "2011 BC First Nations' Art Awards Announced". Newswire.ca. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
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