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Raven- Animal Symbolism - Northwest Coast Native ArtView your cartTell a friendPrint previewBack one page


Creation & Knowledge – Bringer of the Light

Raven is one of the most important figures in Northwest Coast Legend.  Raven was the creator; sometimes known as ‘the Trickster’ or the catalyst of change, causing many changes to occur through curious nature. Raven gets bored quickly, and is constantly looking for things in order to amuse. Raven is quick to act, extremely curious and sometimes greedy. Raven likes to be involved. Raven often takes part in stories that have Raven working to gain. Raven is motivated by self indulgence, though there is often a price that raven will pay, in the course of which causing beneficial things to happen at his cost.

Raven could be taken as a symbol of the Coastal People’s view that the world has many faces, is a place full of surprises, neither good nor bad, often unpredictable. Raven is said to be the symbol of knowledge and has the ability to make anything happen. Raven can transform itself, and resurrect itself. It is said that raven bought light to the earth, and salmon to the rivers.

Raven has a long beak that is quite straight. Raven is often seen with a circle in its mouth representing the story of having brought light to the earth. At times, this disc portrays a human face. Light, as the giver of life, is in this way represented as a human.

'Raven' by Tony Hunt.

Northwest Coast Native Art Handcarved in the Northwest Coast Native style by a Native Artist of the Northwest Coast.

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