Published on December 8, 2012 by Casey
In the mythology of many Northwest Indian tribes, Raven is honored as a culture hero. He is a revered and benevolent transformer figure who helps the people and shapes their world for them, but at the same time, he is also a trickster character and many Raven stories have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior causing trouble for him and the people around him. Raven is noted for negative traits such as gluttony, greed, and impatience as well as for his heroism and great deeds.
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Ravens are also used as clan animals in many Native American cultures, particularly those of the Northwest Coast (such as the Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Kwakiutl, Nisgaa-Gitksan, and Salishan tribes) and the northern Athabaskan tribes (such as the Tanaina.) Raven is an important clan crest on the Northwest Coast and can often be found carved on totem poles, bentwood boxes, and other traditional northwestern art. Other tribes with Raven Clans include the Menominee tribe.