More About Raven

Raven is one of the most important beings in Northwest Coast art and mythology, although the nature of his role varies from one culture to another and his predominance diminishes from north to south.

To the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian, Raven is the original organizer, trickster, transformer, teacher, catalyst and chief spirit. He is also a relentless schemer and practical joker, lustful, impulsive, cunning, shameless and without remorse.

Raven has the power to transform both himself and other beings. He can even change animate to inanimate matter, and vice versa. Sometimes he is blamed for impregnating women, by becoming a speck of dirt or a pine needle in the water they drink. Although Raven is supremely creative and productive, he is not the supreme Creator, he is his chief and original agent.

The cycle of Raven myths is usually accessible to all, unlike most stories, which are property of certain families. 

In stories, Raven is intelligent, curious, innovative and resourceful, yet selfish, greedy, deceitful and mischievous. He always follows his appetite, and consequently is often in trouble: in fact, that is when he does some of his best creative work. Among many other achievements, Raven determined the order of things in the world as we know it, secured the blessings of Fire, Water, Sun, Moon, Stars and discovered humankind and other creatures.

To watch a short video of how Raven found the first men, please click here.

There is an interesting longer animation of the famous story of Raven stealing the Light, you can watch here.

For sources go here.