Raven & the Box of Daylight

Long ago, by the mouth of a great river, lived an old chief and his only daughter. It was said that the old man kept the sun hidden away in a box. Raven wanted to have this sun and had tried to get it many times without success. At length he hit on a plan. He noticed that the daughter went to the well every day for a supply of water, so he transformed himself into a pine needle, dropped into her drinking water and was swallowed. She became pregnant and in due time he was reborn as the chief's grandson. Thus he gained access to the house.

Raven became a great favorite with the old chief who let him have anything he asked for. One day he asked to play with the sun box, but this the old man refused to grant. Raven gave him no peace, and finally, weary of his whining, his grandfather let him play with it. The Raven quickly took the box and rolled it about until he had it outside. Then dashing the box to pieces, he took the sun in his beak and placed it in the sky, where it has been giving light to the world ever since.

Learn more about Northwest Indian Art & Lore