Auckland – West                          Mainly West of Queen Street – seen through my lens

August 21, 2011

The Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid, 1980)

Filed under: Black and White,Canada,Not even NZ,sculpture — paul @ 7:12 am
The Raven and the First Men (Detail)

The Raven and the First Men (Detail)

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

You cannot visit Vancouver without a stop at the Museum of Anthropology of the University of British Columbia. Pride of place is given to a monumental wooden sculpture by Bill Reid in its own Bill Reid Rotunda. I had just framed my detail shot, when a person moved into the picture, and luckily, I pressed the button anyway. A fuller picture is below. Here is Bill Reid’s explanatory text:

“The great flood, which had covered the earth for so long, had at last receded and the sand of Rose Spit, Haida Gwaii, lay dry. Raven walked along the sand, eyes and ears alert for any unusual sight or sound to break the monotony. A flash of white caught his eye and there, right at his feet, half buried in the sand, was a gigantic clamshell. He looked more closely and saw that the shell was full of little creatures cowering in terror in his enormous shadow. He leaned his great head close and, with his smooth trickster’s tongue, coaxed and cajoled and coerced them to come out and play in his wonderful new shiny world. These little dwellers were the original Haidas, the first humans.”

The Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid, 1980)

The Raven and the First Men (Bill Reid, 1980)


  1. Thank you for sharing this unusual statue. Lovely

    Comment by anemonen — August 21, 2011 @ 8:25 am

  2. fantastic! I based some textile designs on totems like these years ago when I was a college student.

    Comment by Laura Hegfield — August 21, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  3. Great sculpture.
    I like your black and white photos, especially the first one.


    Comment by Tatjana Parkacheva — August 21, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  4. What a fabulous sculpture. The size of it and the intricate carvings are mind boggling. I am so glad you added the sculptor’s words. That is one fine, fine museum, and Vancouver was a true treat to visit for 3 days. I adored China Town…remember the gardens and that tiny, tiny building on the corner. Your captures of the sculpture are stunning. genie

    Comment by genie — August 21, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  5. You caught the perfect moment with your first photo. The woman seems to be looking at the First Man face to face.

    Comment by Dragonstar — August 22, 2011 @ 6:17 am

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