Raven Gets Married
Raven, or Yéil as he is known amongst the Tlingit, was head chief of the Taantʼa Ḵwáan and wanted to find himself a bride. He confided in his friend Mink that he desired to go out to the great island of the Haida and marry the daughter of Chief ’Idansuu. Knowing it was a considerable distance across open waters, they enlisted the help of their friend, the Great Whale. They climbed inside his mouth and made the journey over to Haida Gwaii.
Whale beached himself on shore in front of ’Idansuu’s house. News of this huge spectacle made its way through the community and, soon enough, the whale was surrounded by villagers carrying knives to cut open this valuable treasure. Before they could start, a shaman heard singing coming from within the cavernous insides of this behemoth: “I, Yéil, who brought the light in this world came across from Gidexenits to take for my wife the daughter of ’Idansuu the Chief, as I am. Ya Ha Na He….”
The people went up and implored ’Idansuu to come down to the beach to hear the singing for himself. After listening to the song, ’Idansuu told the people to cut open the whale and let his “son-in-law” out. Raven exited the carcass wearing his bird mask and feather cloak, followed by his friend Mink. Both were black and shiny from the fatty insides of Whale. Mink ran out and rolled around in the powdered stump of a rotted spruce tree to wipe off the grease and thus remains brown to this day.
Yéil offered up the whale as bride price to Chief ’Idansuu in exchange for the hand of his daughter. The moment Raven sat alongside the Chief’s daughter, the two were married. It was not long before the bride of Yéil gave birth to a little baby boy. Chief ’Idansuu passed on his name to be used when the boy goes across the waters to his father’s people. When the boy was old enough he returned to Tongass with Mink while his parents remained on Haida Gwaii.
It’s amazing how I as a descendant of Yéil of the Taantʼa Ḵwáan could find myself my own Haida princess. This image is dedicated to my beautiful Haida wife Ḵaalga Jaad.
“Raven gets Married” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in September of 2023 and printed by Andy Everson at Kwigwatsi, the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 127 prints bear the title “Raven gets Married” and are signed by Andy Everson: 99 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/99 through 99/99; 9 Artist’s Proof; 9 Remarques; 9 Special Edition Proofs in a different medium and 1 Printer’s Proof. The acid-free 100% cotton rag paper measures about 17x22 inches. Image size measures about 15x18 inches on the paper editions.
Raven Gets Married
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