Story and/or Song

Are there stories from your culture or a song that you relate to and why? Does this story or song relate to what you are learning in your program or in the course you are currently taking?


When raven stole the sun is a common Tlingit creation story. Raven stole the sun from a chief who was a wealthy man, by making himself into a pine needle. The chief’s daughter went to the river to get water and drank the pine needle, so raven became the chief’s grandson. The chief loved his grandson so much that when raven cried he would quickly cheer him up. One day raven cried for the chief’s boxes that he kept safe and out of reach. Raven cried so hard for the first box that the chief gave raven the box to look at. Raven opened the box and stars shot out and went up into the sky making the earth a little brighter. The Grandfather was not angry, but then raven cried again and a lot longer to convince his grandfather to give him the second box. The grandfather finally caved in and gave baby raven the box. Raven then opened up the box and let the moon out. It went up into the sky by the stars making the world brighter. The grandfather was upset, but still loved his grandson. The last box was left and raven had to cry and cry to get his grandfather, the chief, to give up the last box. Raven then of course opened up the last box and released the sun up into the sky. There was no longer darkness and raven brought the stars, moon, and sun to the earth.

My own interpretation of the story, as it relates to my life, will change throughout my life span. This is something I didn’t realize as a young kid listening Elders and story tellers who shared how raven stole the sun. When I think of this story it reminds me that raven found an innovative solution to help all Tlingit people have light. As I continue my education and learning more about my own culture; I will work towards finding innovative solutions with the communities I work with. Raven did not just show up and take the stars, moon, and sun. He built a relationship with the Chief and the daughter by becoming part of the family. This has two sides; the first is the importance of relationship building and the other is to be wary of the people you work with and be careful with the knowledge you share. Raven used his ability to make the world better for all Tlingit people. This is a goal I am working towards by figuring out what skills I have to offer to help my family, and community move forward from the past to help create a better world for the future generations to come.