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 in 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 looked away he turned back, he released them into the sky through the smoke hole of the chief's longhouse. The last to be released was the sun, and raven followed the one by one he released the stars, then the moon, and finally the yellow ball that grandfather kept in a box. He was allowed to play with the Sun and into Raven and flew back through the hole in the sky.