Carved Red Cedar & Acrylic13" D48" diam.
It would seem that the legend of Raven Bringing Light to the World is universal to the Northwest Coast. The actual details of the story differ, but the results are always the same: Raven places the Sun in the Sky, followed by the Moon and then scatters the Stars.
One version of this legend is that Raven discovered that there was a Chief who kept a large, shiny ball in a bent box. Raven coveted the ball and, being a Trickster, devised a way to steal it. Knowing that the Chief’s daughter picked her berries in a specific berry patch, Raven transformed himself into a big, plump blueberry. When the Chief’s daughter duly came along to pick berries, she spied this extra big berry and popped it into her mouth. In this way, Raven impregnated her and some months later a boy child was born, who was in fact the Raven. As a child, he would whine and cry so that his Grandfather would allow him to play with ball. One day, when he was considered to be old enough to play with it alone, the Raven Child transformed himself back into a Raven and picked the ball up in his beak. At this time, Raven was still a white bird and it was as he flew out through the smokehole of the house that he became black.. Once outside, the ball accidentally fell from his grasp and shattered on the ground. Raven then took the largest piece and placed it in the Sky to become the Sun, the next largest fragment was placed to be the Moon and all the other pieces became the Stars - and that is how Raven Brought Light to the World. This is the Tsimshian Legend as told by Tsimshian artist, Gerry Dudoward.
Being the equivalent of a calendar, the Moon held great significance for the early Native people and by its appearance many of their activities were influenced. The Harvest Moon was associated with the return of the salmon to the rivers for spawning. The Spring Moon brought extreme tidal activity.
In terms of the art works of the Northwest Coast, the Moon has been depicted in many ways. The Haida, in particular, very often illustrate the Full Moon embraced by a Crescent Moon, creating powerful asymmetrical images.