Raven and Otter

Corvidae are highly represented in the mythology and folklore of the Arctic peoples of America. The most prominent is Raven, a mischievous and clever being who is involved in many origin stories, including the origin of shamans.

Raven and Otter

From the stories of Tlingit

Raven and Otter were friends. Raven told Otter that he would live as easily on land as in the water. And so they went fishing. Raven was poor at fishing, but Otter shared the fish he caught. This pleased Raven who blessed Otter.

“You will live in a house where the breeze blows from all sides. Any time a canoe capsizes, you will rescue the people and they will become your friends.”

And this is how the Otter men came to be. Those that return to their people became the first shamans, since they can see what others cannot.

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