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Angry Raven - Unframed 11 x 17

Artist: Andy Everson

We sometimes see them as quick flashes of black in the forest. Other times we hear their resonant caw echoing in the woods. Sometimes they’re persistent and mischievous and other times they’re simply mysterious. Such is the way of the great trickster--the raven.

Amongst the tribes on the Northwest coast, our history goes far beyond our present-day encounters with this bird. All of our peoples have tales that go back to the beginning of time and offer up the raven as a main protagonist. There are stories where he opens up the box of daylight and releases the sun into the sky. There are other myths where he starts off as a white bird and ends up turning black through his crazy exploits.

Amongst the K’ómoks people, the raven is known for his ridiculous claims. He has a propensity for saying that he can do anything anyone else can do. Through a series of events and outrageous stunts, the raven invariably ends ups embarrassed and in great pain. He doesn’t really learn, though--he only ends up angry and continues to repeat the cycle.

For cultures around the world, the trickster--in whatever form he or she may take--is an incredibly valuable and important figure. Through misdeeds and misadventures, the world is most often set right. While we may be left with an angry raven, the world is gifted a culture hero.

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