Panel depicting Raven and Sky People, David A. Boxley, Alaskan Tsimshian
Panel depicting Raven and Sky People, 2016 by David A. Boxley, Alaskan Tsimshian 47.5" high x 59.5" wide x 1.25" deep hand carved red cedar, pigment
Once the earth had no daylight. Raven had put fish in the rivers, and fruit trees on the land, but he was saddened by the darkness. The Sun, the Stars and the Moon at that time were kept in bentwood boxes by a chief in the sky. The Raven came to a hole in the sky and went through. He came to a spring where the chief's daughter would fetch water. He changed himself into a cedar seed and floated on the water. When the girl drank from spring she swallowed the seed without noticing and became pregnant.
A boy child was born which was really Raven. Though this was a strange happening, the chief fell in love with his grandson. As a toddler, he begged to play with each of the boxes that contained light. Raven child was allowed to play with the stars, the moon, and the sun, but when the chief turned his back, Raven released them into the sky through the smoke hole of the chief's longhouse. The last to be released was the sun, and Raven decided to carry the sun into the sky himself, because he had accomplished his goal of giving daylight to the world.