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Tlingit Raven The past of the Tlingit Tribe engages both pre-contact and post-contact historical events and stories. The customary history involved the creation stories such as the Tlingit Raven Cycle and other imaginatively linked events during the mythic age when spirits would generously change and transform from animal to human and back. The migration story of coming to Tlingit domain, the tribe histories, and more current events near the time of first contact with Europeans are also all a part of Tlingit history.
Tlingit and their Historical Records At this point the European and American historical records come into play, and even though present Tlingits have admittance to and examination these historical records, they persist to maintain their own historical record by telling stories of ancestors and events which have significance to them against the background of the constant changing world.
The Tlingit stories about the Tlingit Raven are unique in Tlingit culture in that although they theoretically belong to tribes of the Raven moiety, the majority is openly and freely shared by any Tlingit regardless of their clan connection. They also make up the mass of the stories that children are entertained with when young. The Tlingit Raven Cycle stories are often shared anecdotally by the telling of one inspiring the telling of another Tlingit Raven Cycle story.
The Various Tlingit Raven Stories Many of the stories are humorous, however, there are some which are very serious and convey a sense of Tlingit morality and ethics. Other stories belong to specific clans and may only be shared under the appropriate license. Some of the most well-liked stories are those which are familiar to other tribes along the Northwest Coast, and which offer the creation legends for the everyday world.
There are two different Raven characters which can be identified in the Tlingit Raven Cycle stories. Even though they are not always clearly differentiated by most storytellers; One Tlingit Raven story is the creator Raven who is responsible for bringing the world into being and who in sometimes measured to be the same individual as the Owner of Daylight. The other raven story involves the childish Raven who is constantly selfish, sly, conniving, and hungry.
In contrasting a few of the stories, rational inconsistencies between them are shown, however this is typically explained as involving a different world where things did not make logical sense and a mythical time where the rules of the modern world did not apply.
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