Raven Story Mask
EXHIBITION:Masks: The Art of Becoming
An excerpt from the longer Raven narrative:
“After this, Raven went on again and came to a large town where there were people who had never seen daylight. They were out catching eulachon in the darkness when he came to the bank opposite, and he asked them to take him across, but they would not. Then he said to them, “If you don’t come over I will have daylight break on you.” But they answered, “Where are you from? Do you come from far up the Nass where lives the man who has daylight?” At this, Raven opened his box just a little and shed such a great light on them that they were nearly thrown down. He shut it quickly, but they quarreled with him so much across the creek that he became angry and opened the box completely, when the the sun flew up into the sky. The those people who had sea-otter or fur-seal skins or the skins of any other sea animals, went into the ocean , while those who had land-otter, bear or marten skins, or the skins of any other land animals, went into the woods [becoming the animals whose skins they wore].”
page 5 of “Tlingit Myths and Texts” by John R Swanton.