More Yupik Legends Raven and the Sun, the Moon and the Stars Long
Ago there was no sun, no moon or stars in the sky and the people
huddled in fear for the only light was that of the little people
dancing in the sky (the northern lights), who would seek to take people
away into the cold sky and underworld. Raven heard the peoples cries
and took pity on them, so he flew out to see if he could find some
light to put in the sky. After he had flown for some time he saw a
light coming out of a house and so he went down to see what it was.
Inside the house he saw an old man who was greedily hoarding the sun,
the moon, and the stars to himself. Each of these things was in its own
seal bladder bag which he hung on the wall to admire. (Yupik people at
this time would take seal guts and blow them up and tan them to make
semi-transparent bags) Raven
knew that he had to get the sun, moon and stars so he thought of a
plan. The old man had a daughter who came out of the house to drink and
so raven turned into a berry leaf and landed in the water she was
drinking. Inside of her Raven grew to look like a human boy, a baby.
The girls father was happy that she had given him a grandson and so
dotted on Raven who acted as a good child to make the grandfather love
the time was right Raven began to scream as he reached up for the bags
which contained the sun, the moon and the stars. To make him stop the
old man gave Raven the bag which held the Stars inside of it. After
playing with the stars for a while Raven opened the back and the stars
flew up the chimney bringing light to the sky. Some
time later Raven began to cry again as he reached for the bags and so
the old man gave him the moon which Raven released into the sky as well. The
next time Raven cried the old man resisted giving the Raven the sun,
but Raven persisted, crying louder and louder, day and night. At last
the old man could take it no more so he tied many knots around the back
so that Raven couldn't untie it, only then did he give the sun to
Raven. Raven tried and tried to free the sun but he could not, so at
last he turned into Raven and ripped open the bag with his sharp beak.
Raven then carried the sun up into the sky, laughing as he went.