Bill Reid, The Raven and the First Men, approximately 2 metres (6’) high by 2 metres in diameter, made from a single piece of yellow cedar.
The story: “In Haida culture, the Raven is the most powerful of mythical creatures. His appetites include lust,  curiosity,  and an irrepressible desire to interfere and change things,  and to play tricks on the world and its creatures. The sculpture of The Raven and the First Men depicts the story of human creation. According to Haida legend,  the Raven found himself alone one day on Rose Spit beach in Haida Gwaii (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). After a flood, he saw an extraordinary clamshell and protruding from it were a number of small human beings. The Raven coaxed them to leave the shell to join him in his wonderful world. Some of the humans were hesitant at first,  but they were overcome by curiosity and eventually emerged from the partly open giant clamshell to become the first Haida.”
I first saw this when I was little and I have always liked it. It is in the Bill Reid Rotunda at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. The gallery is mostly glass and was designed by Arthur Erickson. The main large space looks out toward the ocean and the coast mountains. This rotunda is fairly dark with a large circular window above the sculpture as its principal lighting source. When I first saw it, I remember the wonderful cedar smell in that space and the rain falling on the round skylight.

Bill Reid, The Raven and the First Men, approximately 2 metres (6’) high by 2 metres in diameter, made from a single piece of yellow cedar.

The story: “In Haida culture, the Raven is the most powerful of mythical creatures. His appetites include lust,  curiosity,  and an irrepressible desire to interfere and change things,  and to play tricks on the world and its creatures. The sculpture of The Raven and the First Men depicts the story of human creation. According to Haida legend,  the Raven found himself alone one day on Rose Spit beach in Haida Gwaii (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). After a flood, he saw an extraordinary clamshell and protruding from it were a number of small human beings. The Raven coaxed them to leave the shell to join him in his wonderful world. Some of the humans were hesitant at first,  but they were overcome by curiosity and eventually emerged from the partly open giant clamshell to become the first Haida.”

I first saw this when I was little and I have always liked it. It is in the Bill Reid Rotunda at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. The gallery is mostly glass and was designed by Arthur Erickson. The main large space looks out toward the ocean and the coast mountains. This rotunda is fairly dark with a large circular window above the sculpture as its principal lighting source. When I first saw it, I remember the wonderful cedar smell in that space and the rain falling on the round skylight.

#haida #bill reid #sculpture #the raven and the first men #raven


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