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1001 Stories Collection

Raven and the Moon

1001 Raven The Moon
Added on 02nd July 2020

Oral tradition Native American folktale

North and Central America Animals
1001 , Audio , Text

Shape-shifting Raven steals the moon from a miser and his daughter.

Story

A man and his daughter jealously guard their house of treasures. The raven overhears them speak about the moon and wants it for himself.

Why we chose it

Raven and the Moon was part of The Story Museum’s original audio collection and also one of the stories chosen by Geraldine McCaughrean as part of our 2015 World Stories project.

Where it came from

Raven and the Moon is a tale which originates with the Haida people, whose main territory is in northern British Columbia, Canada. The story would likely have been seen to belong to the clan as an important cultural creation, rather than as entertainment.

The character of the raven appears in many Native American myths, often tricking others into providing him with the things he thinks he needs.

Tales that include the raven as the hero originate in British Columbia and Alaska with the Haida and Tsimshian peoples, but similar tales also appear in the North East of Asia.

Where it went next

Along with many other raven tales from the past, the tale has also been adapted by Bill Reid, a Haida who worked alongside anthropologists and experts in Native American Literature, in his The Raven Steals the Light (1996)

A written version can be found in Geraldine McCaughrean’s, 100 World Myths and Legends of the World

Associated stories

Raven stories are found in nearly all of the First Nations on the Pacific Northwest coast. Raven is always magical and able to shape-shift. The Sioux tell of the white raven being thrown into the fire and consequently turning black.

Added on 02nd July 2020

Oral tradition Native American folktale

North and Central America Animals
1001 , Audio , Text

Story Resources

  • Raven and the Moon story text PDF (35.341 KB)
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