The Story of Why the Raven is Black… as shared by bear Medicinewalker

raven color
This was shared to me by an Elder who asked me if I knew how the Raven became black. since my response was no this is what Black elk Shared with me…and now in turn I share with you..

Long ago, during the very beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the sun, the moon, the stars, fresh water and fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. The peoples lived in darkness, without fire and without fresh water.

Gray Eagle also had a beautiful daughter, and when Raven saw her he instantly fell in love with her. At that time Raven was a handsome young man so he came up with a plan to change himself into a snow-white bird. As the snow-white bird he pleased Gray Eagle’s daughter and soon she fell madly in love with him. So much so that she invited him to her father’s lodge.

Raven was surprised when he he entered the lodge for he saw the sun ,the moon, the stars and the fresh water hanging on the sides of Gray Eagle’s lodge walls, he knew instantly what he should do, what he had to do. So carefully watching for his chance to seize them when no one was looking, Raven stole all of them along with a spark of fire. Then he flew upward and out of the lodge through a smoke hole above.

As soon as Raven got outside, he hung the sun up in the sky. It created so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. As soon as the sun set, he fastened the moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. With the moonlight there to help guide him, he continued to fly carrying with him the fresh water and the spark of fire he had stolen. Soon the water fell to the ground and there it became the source of all the freshwater streams and lakes around the world.

Still the Raven flew on holding in his mouth the spark of fire. The smoke from the fire blowing back over his white feathers coating them black. Soon his bill began to burn and he had to drop the fire spark. When it landed and struck the rocks below, it sparked brighter and created fire. That is why even today if you strike two stones together with a stick, it will spark and fire will burn and share its warmth and glow.

Raven’s feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from carrying the spark of fire.

This is why today the Raven is a black bird.

Share our History, share the lessons, share our cultures…

Mitakuye O’yasin,

~bear Medicinewalker