“…It wasn’t long before one, then another of the little shell brothers, timidly emerged. Some of them immediately scurried back when they saw the immensity of the sea and the sky and the overwhelming blackness of the Raven. But eventually curiosity overcame caution and all of them crept or scrambled out. Very strange creatures they were, two-legged like the Raven. There the resemblance ended. They had no glossy feathers, no thrusting beak, their skin was pale and they were naked except for their long, black hair on their round, flat-featured heads. Instead of strong wings they had stick-like appendages that waved and fluttered constantly. They were the original Haidas, the first humans.” – Bill Reid
According to Haida legend, we have a lot to thank the Raven for. So what better day to appreciate one of Canada’s finest artists, and one of his most impressive sculptures. Happy Canada Day.
P.S. I sketched this portion of Bill Reid’s The Raven and the First Men, while visiting the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. If you are in Vancouver, I recommend you see this sculpture in person – it’s a national treasure.