Raven and the Box of Daylight

White Raven, a trickster

“Raven decides that he will try to do something about the darkness, for himself and for the world. As he follows the Nass River, he encounters the Fishermen of the Night..”

“Raven knows he will not be welcome in his raven form and devises a plan to transform himself into a tiny speck of dirt. His plan is to float down the river into the drinking ladle of the Daughter of the Nobleman at the Head of the Nass River. That is how he will sneak into the Clan House.. Raven is ingested by her and she becomes pregnant..
Raven is born in human form.
Raven grows into a precocious and precious human boy..”

Three carved boxes containing grandfather’s most prized possessions: the stars, the moon, and the daylight. Raven asks for the boxes and is told he cannot have them. He cries and cries for the boxes and eventually his grandfather relents. He gives his grandson the boxes, which he immediately opens. The stars, moon, and daylight, slip through the smoke hole in the Clan House and take their places in the sky..”

“As the stars fill the sky, and the moon takes its place, light begins to fill the Earth. When the sun takes its place in the sky, bringing daylight to the world, it is frightening for all those who have been in darkness. The people are able to see the world around them for the first time and are startled. Those wearing animal regalia run to the woods and become The Animal People. Those wearing bird rigalia jump into the sky and become The Winged People. Those wearing the water animal rigalia become The Water People. Those who remain strong (and stubborn) become Human People..”

(Taken from a Tlingit culture exhibition in the Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass. Based on an old Tlingit story. Glass art by Preston Singletary. )

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