The Raven's Dance

Mark Gauti

Sooke, Canada

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Artist's Description

This picture is my expression of a strange experience I once had with four ravens. It happened four years ago when I was on the Intertribal canoe journeys. The canoe journeys is a festivity for northwest tribes to return to our roots and travel the ocean canoe routes of our ancestors in a kind of potlatch style celebration. Every year one tribe will host then every other tribe will travel there by canoe. Along the way we stop at other tribes villages to feast, celebrate, drum and sing then rest for the next paddle and my experience with the ravens happened at one of these sites here on Vancouver Island and I can not remember the name of the tribe but it was a Saanich one.

What happened was one morning I woke up really early and could not go back to sleep so I decided to go for a walk. There was also a powwow happening at the tribe’s village at the same time so there were thousands of people camping but I seemed to be the only one awake. I walked onto a large field that they where using the previous night for powwow dancing. When I reached the middle I noticed four large black objects flying strait at me from some tall trees on the other side of the field. As they got closer I knew that they were ravens but had no idea why they were still flying strait at me. They then landed on the ground a few feet away from me and circled around me. Then the ravens started doing these strange movements where they continued to face me but they where jumping sideways circling me with each jump having their head pointed so they could look at me with only one of their eyes then change to the other eye with the next jump. The entire time this was happening I could hear my heart beat very clearly and it sounded like a drumbeat that the ravens danced to. I have no idea how long this continued but I broke the circle when I started to walk again. Ever since that day I have always wanted to make some art showing my experience with those ravens but I never knew how until last week when one morning I was waiting for the bus there was a crow perched on the bus stop sign and was looking at me the same way as the ravens did and was cawing at me and after that I knew it was time to draw this.

This experience could be one with deep spiritual meaning or perhaps I was just standing on their breakfast and they were trying to figure out how to get it. Either way this is what I seen and this is the art I made to represent it.

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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