Assembled by Barb McMillan
Historical / Cultural Significance: Haida Narrative
Before there was anything, when the whole world was dark, there lived the
Raven. The Raven had always existed and always would. The Raven overheard a man
inside a house saying, "I have a box and inside the box is another box and inside it are
many more boxes, and in the smallest box of all is all the light in the world, and it is
all mine and I'll never give any of it to anyone, not even my daughter." The Raven wanted
the light and he thought and he thought how he would steal the light. He decided to transform
himself into a pine needle. He made sure to drop down and flow down the river just in time
to be caught in the daughter's basket as she was getting a drink of water. The Raven with his
magic powers made her thirsty and she swallowed the pine needle. At that moment, the Raven
became a very small human being who grew and grew.
Raven was born a baby boy. He grew into a strange looking boy, but no one could
see him. His Grandfather grew to love him. The boy protested noisily to see the boxes. His
Grandfather instantly refused his grandson's request, but in time yielded and the Grandfather
opened the smallest box with the ball of light and tossed it to his grandson. The grandson
changed from his human form to a huge, shiny black shadow, wings spread and beak open, waiting.
The Raven snapped up the light in his jaws, thrust his great wings downward and shot through
the smoke hole of the house into the huge darkness of the world. The Eagle saw the Raven and
chased him around the world. The Raven tried to avoid the Eagle and dropped half the light.
The light broke into pieces and bounced back into the sky and became the moon and the stars.
Principles and Elements of Design
The sculpture's texture is smooth, and the rounded form flows like liquid gold.
The design's beauty comes from its simplicity and brilliance. The shadows create
depth and give the sculpture life. The sculpture's curving conturs and symmetry
give this work of art elegance. It is truely an orb that casts light into the
"Raven Bringing Light to the World" by Robert Davidson
b. 1946, White Rock, British Columbia
Gilded Bronze, ed. 1/12, 30 cm dia.
Integration into Music/Dance/Drama
These sculptures could be integrated with drama by re-enacting
the myth, "Raven Steals the Sun." In art, children could make a sun mask
for one of the children to play the sun. A large cardboard or paper-mache
sun could be constructed and painted for the staged setting. Hand drums,
flutes and rattles, could accompany this drama quite nicely.
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