This design tells the story of Nang Kilslaas, also known as Raven Stealing the Light and is inspired by Haida argillite plates.
Learn about the design:
“The world was covered in darkness. Raven, sick of living in the dark, flies to the sky world in search of a ball of light. He had heard that the sky world’s chief kept the light hidden. The chief feared his daughter was ugly, out of shame he hid the light.
Raven waited for the perfect plan. He learned quickly that the chief’s daughter went to the stream everyday to collect water. Raven transformed himself into a hemlock needle for her to swallow as she drank he impregnated her with himself.
When Raven was born as a human child, he still had raven qualities, beedy eyes, a beak like nose, and some feathers on his arms.
The chief adored his grandson and would do anything and everything for him. As the boy grew he started to explore the longhouse, Raven realized there was a bentwood box out of reach. As he went to open the box. He saw another box. The chief caught him and slammed it shut!
Raven cried and cried. The chief gave in and opened a box. Inside was another. Raven cried and cried some more. Another box was opened. Raven cried until finally the last box was about to open, holding the light.
Quickly he transformed into his bird form, snapped the light in his beak and flew through the smoke hole. The smoke hole is what turned raven from a white bird to a black bird, as we know him today.
As raven flew off, he accidentally dropped the light and it shattered into two large pieces and small pieces.
Once the light came into our skies, the chief saw his daughter and realized she was actually very beautiful.“
The design depicts the chief above in the sky world trying to hold on to his precious possession. Raven is falling playfully with the light in his talons. Raven's head has his human boy face, smiling gleefully. At the bottom is the bentwood box with the Raven’s tail weaving depicting the box within a box.
Meet the artist: Shoshannah Greene, SGidGang.Xaal, was born and raised on Haida Gwaii. She is a member of the Staawaas X̲aaydaG̲aay, from Hlkinil llnagaay (Cumshewa village). From a young age, Shoshannah has always had a strong drive to be creative. She pursued a Bachelor of Media Arts at Emily Carr University, with a major in hand-drawn animation. During these years, her interests shifted from classical animation to classical Haida formline. Today, Shoshannah works as a full-time artist, with a creative practice focused on Haida design, both traditional and digital painting, and illustration.
Material: 100% cotton archival watercolour paper, print type is archival pigment & method of printing is giclée (unframed)
Dimensions: 16 inches wide x 20 inches tall
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