Source: Alaska Native Heritage Center and Anchorage Downtown Rotary
This video, adapted from material provided by the ECHO partners, presents a telling of the Tlingit myth, "How Raven Gave Light to the World." The story is told by Shirley Kendall (Eagle Moiety), originally from the Alaskan village of Hoonah. It is illustrated with video of Native dancers and Alaskan scenery, as well as with images depicting Raven.
For thousands of years, people all over the world have told stories to pass down the history, culture, and morals of their society to each new generation. One type of traditional story is the creation, or origin, story. Creation stories, also called "creation myths," describe the origin and nature of the universe, and often convey particular belief systems or values.
Native American creation myths are connected to the natural world and often include animals that act as creators and spiritual guides. The animals in these stories are not animals as we might think of them; they often possess human abilities, such as speaking and thinking, as well as magical powers. Animals such as the coyote, bear, and raven often appear in the creation stories of different tribes.
The Raven stories are told by the Tlingit, as well as by other peoples along the northwest coast of the U.S. and Canada. The Raven character is revered as the creator of the world, but is also a tricky being who likes to cause trouble for humans. However, Raven's actions often result in a benefit to mankind. Such is the case in the story of "How Raven Gave Light to the World." Although Raven wants to steal the contents of the boxes that hold the stars, Moon, and Sun for himself, the people ultimately benefit from his trick when the light is released into the sky.
Many people have retold this and other Raven stories, as well as other creation stories. The Tlingit view these creation stories as public property that may be told by all knowledgeable performers. There are other traditional stories that are the property of a particular clan. (There were traditionally about 50 Tlingit clans.) The stories can only be told by their owner or by someone who has permission from the rightful owner. The owners often tell their stories at "potlatches"—ceremonial feasts that mark significant family events and establish the host's position in society. Because the stories serve to validate the societal position and privileges of a clan, not honoring the owner's exclusive right to the story is a failure to respect those privileges.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.