Original watercolour 22" x 29" by Gordon Miller © 1990

In Haida mythology, Raven is a central actor. His role is that of cultural hero, transformer and magician. Full of supernatural power, he is attributed with scattering lakes, rivers and trees over the land and populating them with fish and animals. He stole the sun from a box where it was hidden and made the moon and stars from it. And he released humans onto the beaches and gave them fire.

The Haida tell of a primordial time where no divisions existed between humans, animals and spirits. It was an age when all realms of existence were interconnected and all beings could pass freely between them. A significant event in mythical time occurred when Raven released the first humans from a clamshell in which they were hiding. Since that time the Haida have divided themselves between two families: Ravens and Eagles. Ownership of their family crests, territories, stories and dances have been passed down for centuries through birth and marriage.

Throughout the Northwest Coast, Raven, the trickster has summoned men and women to their daily doings, reminding them of the follies of human flesh and spirit. Here, at the ancient Haida village of Skedans, a new day dawns, and Raven chuckles.

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