The Green Man, located along Highway 16 and near the Crow’s Nest, is probably one of Haida Gwaii’s most perplexing attractions. He kind of catches you by surprise. Picture this: You are driving down Highway 16, either en route to Masset or Queen Charlotte, and then you suddenly spy what looks to be a naked green man sitting on a floating raft in a small pond. What the heck is this?
The Green Man is obviously well manicured, and his pose can be interpreted in a couple of ways: Is he being seductive? Is he contemplating? It can go either way. On the one hand, perhaps the Green Man’s seductive pose can reflect the beauty of Haida Gwaii; on the other hand, maybe he is thinking about nature and the choices we as people make. But then, that is the beauty of public art: It has any number of possible interpretations.
No one really knows why the Green Man was placed where he is. The most common story is he was put there to amuse local residents, and he certainly does that. One of this sculpture’s most quirky features is he tends to change his appearance with the times or seasons. In winter, he may be spotted with a Santa hat, for instance. In the early part of the pandemic, he was sporting a face covering. It’s fun and shows that the Green Man is ever thoughtful and watching.