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Name of Print - Raven

Benefactor of the Mythological People of Puget Sound.

When the world was just beginning, Gray Eagle, the guardian of the sun, moon, stars, fresh water, and fire, hated mankind and hid these blessing from them. Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter with whom Raven fell in love with. Raven was a handsome young man, but to court Gray Eagle's daughter he changed himself into a snow-white bird. When Gray Eagle's daughter invited Raven to her father's lodge, Raven witnessed the wonders of the sun, moon, stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge. When no one was looking, Raven seized these valuable items, plus a brand of fire, and flew out of the lodge through a smoke hole. He hung the sun in the sky and, using the new-found light of day, he flew out into the middle of the ocean where at sunset he fastened the moon up in the sky and hung the stars. When he flew back to land he dropped the water and this special place became the source of all fresh-water streams and lakes. As Raven flew on, the smoke from the fire brand blew back over his white feathers and turned them black. When his bill began to burn, Raven dropped the firebrand and it disappeared into the rocks below. That is why two stones struck together will produce fire. Raven's white feathers never reappeared and that is why he is now a black bird.

From Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Ella E. Clark
(University of California Press, 1953)

Price: $150.00 | Print Size  16 1/4" x 16 1/4" |


Name of Print - Raven and Owl

Long ago Raven and Owl were both white as snow. They were adversarial friends, always challenging one another to see which was the strongest. One day Raven saw his old friend and flew down to perch beside him. "Let's wrestle!" he challenged. Owl refused, but Raven pounced on him and they wrestled around on the ground until Owl spotted a mud hole and pushed Raven into it. Raven was covered with black mud from head to tail feathers and was furious! "Friend Owl, " he coaxed, "Give me a hand so I may get out of this mess." But Owl said, "No, you are the one who started the fight." So Raven offered Owl half his possessions if his friend would help him out. When Owl complied and pulled him out, Raven was so black with mud that no white showed at all. Then he shook his feathers and the mud flew, landing on splotches on Owl. That is why to this day ravens are entirely black and owls are spotted.

From The Raven & the Totem
by John E. Smelcer
A Salmon Run Book
Anchorage Alaska 1992

Price: $150.00 | Print Size 15 3/4" x 15 3/4" |


Name of Print - Raven Steals the Salmon From Beaver

Raven grew tired of the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of Western Canada) and flew to the mainland. There he met two beavers in the form of men who fed him salmon and other human dietary delights. When the men turned back to their original beaver form and ceased offering Raven the wonderful meals, Raven grew homesick for his islands and decided to return to them. However, he was not willing to give up the lakes and streams he had found on the mainland, for such things were not present on the islands. The raven tried to pick up as many fish as possible to take home with him, but trying as he did to hold so many at a time he kept dropping all of them. After some serious thought, he discovered he could roll up the rich ground at his feet like a cedar bark blanket and hold it in his beak. Thus, he traveled back to his islands carrying earth in his beak that was rich with lakes and streams. He dropped the roll on the ground to scatter where it might. That is why today nearly every one of the Haida Islands is spattered with little lakes and small but rich streams – refuge for millions of spawning salmon.

From Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Ella E. Clark
University of California Press 1953

Price: $150.00 | Print Size 16 1/4" x 16 1/4" |


Name of Print - Raven Tricks Seagull and Crane

While walking along the beach Raven, who was always hungry, saw Crane and Seagull fishing for fat herring. When he witnessed Seagull catch and swallow a huge herring, he determined to get Seagull's catch. The fish had left a large bulge in Seagull's chest because of its size. Raven flew over to Crane first. "Friend," he said, "I shouldn't tell you this but Seagull just said to me that you are stupid and ugly and that your ancestors were slaves." Crane looked over at Raven and said nothing. Walking back to Crane, Raven said, "I should warn you that Seagull is coming over to fight you. Your best defense is to kick him hard in the chest where he is weakest. Crane thanked Raven and looked over at Seagull. Raven returned to Seagull and told him that Crane was very mad and wanted to fight. Raven suggested that he use his strong chest to defend himself if Crane tried to kick him. Seeing Crane shift his weight, Raven said to Seagull, "He's getting ready! You should attack first." The fight began. Following Raven's advice, Crane kicked at Seagull who in turn used his chest as a shield. The hard jolt dislodged the herring into the air where it was caught by Raven, who flew away laughing at the birds. Realizing that they had been tricked, Seagull and Crane stopped their fighting.

The Raven & The Totem
John E. Smelcer
A Salmon Run Book
Anchorage, Alaska

Price: $150.00 | Print Size 16" x 16" |

As I was going to St. Ives