Beau Dick, Raven Rattle, 2016

Original size is 2947 × 3060 pixels

Private collection of Corey Bulpitt.

Following the collisions of urban and traditional myth, Hometown Hero is positioned next to Corey’s Raven Rattle, an intricately carved object often used by chiefs during ceremonies. Corey, who is from the Raven clan, draws his inspiration from the importance of the figure in oral traditions of the Northwest Coast. Similarly to Canuck the Crow, the Raven is a cultural hero, a transformer and a trickster. In Northwest Coast tradition, Raven’s adventures at the beginning of time brought our known world into existence. It was the Raven who placed the moon and stars in the sky after stealing them from a supernatural chief, who also discovered the first humans and released them into the world.
Corey’s masterful three-dimensional carving is loaded with symbolic references to Northwest Coast tradition. On the Raven’s back are usually two or three seated figures, the Human and Frog, who are often communicating or transferring power through the touching of tongues. The figure engraved into the chest is perceived to be a Supernatural creature, followed by a tail shaped like the head of a Kingfisher. While being activated, the rattles are traditionally held upside down to keep the bird from flying away.