When it’s released later this summer, a new U.S. Postal Service stamp will illuminate a piece of indigenous culture that has long been associated with an escape from the dark. With the title “Raven storySteeped in history, Porto features an iconic animal from Rico Lanáat ’Worl, Who is the first Tlingit and Athabascan artist worked by U.S.P.S. The stamp is full of twinkling stars and shows a black bird catching the sun in its beak as it breaks out of its human family. The motif is based on the story of “Raven And The Box Of Daylight”, a traditional Tlingit lore about the trickster animal that brings stars, moon and sun into the universe after a series of raids.
in the a statementWorl shares that the raven is a prominent figure in the Tlinglit culture, and the postage stamp shows the culmination of this oft-told story. He writes:
Raven tries to grab as many stars as possible, some stuck in his feathers and in his hands or in his beak. Some fall around him. It’s a baffled moment of adrenaline. Partly still in human form, shown as his hand is still human while he is carrying the stars away. I think it shows a moment we all experienced, the height of failure and achievement.
Worl lives in Juneau where he works Sealaska Heritage Institute and run together Trickster Company, a design business focused on Northwest Coast art with sister Crystal. To mark the USPS launch, he plans to create lapel pins, prints, and other merchandise with the design that you can follow Instagram. (over Hyperallergic)
Are such stories and artists important to you? To become something Colossal member and support independent art publishers. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art and support ours Interview series, get access to partner discounts and much more. Join now!