The Raven Steals the Light Paperback – 1 Feb 1996
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These are simply the best versions of Indian tales I have read: they are colloquial yet poetic, precise yet spilling outside their boundaries, accumulating and then blending into one another. Canadian Literature The drawings are impressive; the stories are engaging. But the real value of the book lies in the ability of Reid and Bringhurst to recreate the voice of the storyteller and in their ability to capture the sensual qualities of Haida oral literature. Folklore Two artists, in an unusual pairing of talens, have reshaped Haida myths into scenes of Haida prehistoric life that seem told by a modern-day reincarnation of Raven himself. Western Folklore
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The Queen Charlotte Islands - Haida Gwai - situated off the North West coast of Canada, are the home of the Haida people. Here they developed a rich oral tradition inspired by the sea, sky and animals. Bill Reid and Robert Bringhurst have brought their extensive knowledge of Haida culture to the selecting and retelling of some of these stories in a style that is both lyrical and dramatic.
The Haida also have a long tradition in art, one which is distinct and sophisticated. Bill Reid continues this tradition through his beautiful and complex drawings which illustrate each story. The close relationship between man and animal is graphically illustrated - drama, mystery and humour are all represented. One is given a glimpse of the power of the imagination to explain creation and significant events in the life of the different Haida clans as well as to instrust the young and entertain the community.
This book is a delightful compliment to Bill Reid's earlier book, 'Indian Art of the Northwest Coast'.
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