- July 15, 2015
“Getup! A festival is coming to our village”
(part of private collection).
Raven (Koshki (Eskimo) / Kutkh (Chukchi) / Kutinaku (Koryak)) is the central figure in the sagas of the Northern folk. He used to be a totem animal, imbued with mystical abilities. He is wise and omnipotent, he is able to predict the future, he knows about the events taking place in other parts of the world. He is magically connected with death, he can travel from this to the other world and back.
But there are some opposite features in Raven’s outlook, behaviour, and manner of living. Everybody knows that Raven is imbued with features such as slyness, extending to stupidity, awkwardness, clumsiness, idleness. My Raven is an old fellow, cunning and sham. Who could say that he is not dead? But we know that the magic sound of the tambourine will lift this idler up from the daily routine to become the central figure of every festival. The Asian Eskimos have a very interesting dance that is performed at the festival for the lucky hunting of whale or walrus. In this dance an imitation of the bird’s behaviour is combined with the adventures of a luckless boaster.