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THE RAVEN

Sandy Stewart

Joined April 2008

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“SYMBOLISM OF THE RAVEN”

The Raven is an important symbol to many Pacific Northwest Native Canadian people as shown in their Indian art is the Raven bird who is considered the Creator’s assistant. It is said that the Raven can transform himself into anything. He is responsible for supplying the rivers and seas with fish as well as putting the sun into the sky. This is why the Raven is sometimes referred to as the ‘Bringer of Light’. Interestingly enough, the Raven’s antics were thought to be motivated by greed.
It is also said that he loves to tease and trick which gives him the reputation of being the ‘trickster’. Despite his selfishness, the Raven is also a cultural hero since his mischievous actions always helped the world.
According to one Pacific Northwest Native Canadian legend, an old chief hid the sun away in a box. The Raven transformed into a pine needle which dropped into the drinking water which the chief’s daughter drank from. She became pregnant and a son was born. One day, the chief finally gave into the Raven’s (now disguised as his grandson) whining and allowed him to play with the sun in the box. Once the box was outside, the Raven broke it and transformed back to his original bird form. He then took the sun into his beak and flew up to the sky putting the sun back in its right place.
According to the Pacific Northwest Native Canadian people, gifts featuring the prestigious Raven symbol are appropriate for someone respected or considered a hero!

People in Cornwall believed that a raven cawing above a house meant good fortune was coming. Sailors believed that killing a raven was to bring ill fortune. Scottish hunters believed Raven’s raucous calls meant a successful hunt.

Ravens live in the Tower of London. The English believe that if they leave the tower, disaster will fall upon the country. They left the tower before the bombings began in England during World War II. The birds were reintroduced to the tower after the war ended and have been kept there since then and have a Ravenmaster who cares for them. Their wings are clipped so they cannot fly away.

In the Middle Ages, it was believed that to hear a Raven’s caw was an omen of death. Sightings of the turnfalkens, ravens, and hearing their calls was a death omen to the Hapsburgs, the ruling family of the Austro/Hungarian Empire. Christians of that era believed that evil priests became ravens when they died.

“PHOTO INFORMATION”

Camera; Canon 40D

This is a compilation of two photos. The background is a separate image of clouds that I had taken to use as a background. The Raven was taken in Yellowstone National Park, US, and was taken early in the morning with an original blue sky as the background.

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Artwork Comments

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