Print View  |  Add to Cart

Artist / Maker : Young, Wayne
Title : Raven and the Big Fisherman
Date (Execution) : 1998
Geographical Origin : British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Group : Nisga'a, Haida
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Four visible characters lie upon one another, creating one mass; on the bottom, a possibly human form, then a serpent, a fish, and then a raven.
Accession # : U014.3.651
Width (cm) : 50.75
Height (cm) : 33.25
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "A long time ago, in the time of legends, we have the infamous Raven - mischievous and conniving as ever. On this particular day, he was wandering along a beach, poking around for food and generally just trying to occupy himself as he was getting very bored. Suddenly he comes across this huge longhouse. Of course, his curiosity gets the best of him. He wanders over and peers through the cracks between the panels of the great house. The interior consists of a huge, open area with a fireplace in the centre and cubicles in the sides, as was the tradition of long houses. The Raven, of course, assumed that it was the house of a great chief, judging from the size of the building, but there were no family members in the cubicles. Apparently, only one was being used. It was off to a corner with a leather curtain across the front of it. The only person the Raven could see was a woman tending the fire. Suddenly a figure emerges from behind the curtain. It is the biggest man the Raven has ever seen. The man comes to the central area of the room and summons the woman, apparently his wife, to get something for him. So she goes off to a corner of the room and comes back, pulling a huge bentwood box, with beautiful designs not he sides. After she brings it to the man, who turns out to be a fisherman, he opens it up. To his amazement, the Raven watches as the mans to geed fishing line into the box. Eventually, the man stats to pull the line back out of the box, and to the further amazement of the Raven, he pulls out of one fish after another, attached to the line. By the time he is finished pulling out the while line he has a big pile of fish at his feet. The Raven, being the Raven, starts licking his chops as he watches the wife cook up the fish. After the huge meal, the fisherman retreats to his sleeping area and, as it turns out, makes love to his wife, and has a nap. After a time, the Raven is still watching, and burning with envy when the man comes out and informs his wife that he will be taking a trip. THe reason the man gives to his wife's that he is going to a certain island to find the red-shafted filchers, a bird whose feathers are used for various rituals. After gathering supplies and his canoe, the man takes off. Meanwhile, the Raven is thinking up a scheme. As soon as the fisherman is out of sight in his canoe the Raven, being the shape-shifter, transforms into the exact mirror image of the fisherman, and appears at the door of the great-house. Posing as the fisherman, he explains his quick return by saying he encountered Chumaos. Feared by fishermen and other maimers, Chumaos is another creature capable of transforming, mostly into logs, ice-burgs and other hazards at sea. The disguised Rave explains that he would make his trip on another day, and asks that the wife bring him the magical box. The woman, surprised that he would be hungry agains so soon, does as she's asked. The Raven then, as did the fisherman before him, feeds fishing line into the box, pulls out the line with a large amount of fish attached and asks the wife to cook it up. After having a huge feeding, the Raven, being mischievous as he was, take the wife to bed to make love. Then, the Raven has a nap. As luck would have it the real fisherman does have an encounter with Chumaos just around the first bend, so he turns around and heads back to his house. To his horror, the fisherman finds an exact duplicate of himself in bed with his wife. Despite mixed feelings, the man grabs the person, who looks exactly like himself, and starts beating him. Confused at being woken up in the middle of a beating, the Raven automatically transforms back into his original form. Enraged at the sight of the Raven, he tears him limb from limb, and throws him into the latrine. All busted up, the Raven tries to pull himself back together again when the wife goes to use the latrine. naturally, the Raven can't resist and his claw climbs up the wall of the latrine and grabs the rear-end of the wife. She runs screaming to her husband, who come running to her rescue, and beats Raven again. Only this time he ties Raven to a huge rock and paddles out to deep water where he throws him in. In deep trouble, as it were, the Raven is at the end of one of his many stories, only to move on to the next."