"Raven Steals the Sun"

CMC S89-1737; PCD 94-613-002

By Charles Edenshaw, Haida; Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia; argillite; 63.5 cm H. CMC VII-B-792

This model totem pole was made by traditional Haida master sculptor Charles Edenshaw (1839-1920). It interprets a well-known Haida narrative of how Raven, the great mythmaker, stole the light that his grandfather jealously guarded, and cast the orb into the sky, where it became the sun.

Edenshaw was one of many artists who earned their reputations by carving in argillite. These carvings were among the first and most enduring of the Northwest Coast art forms produced for the curio market. By the end of the nineteenth century, model totem poles like Edenshaw's had come to typify the art of argillite carving.