Ravens Symbolic Meaning to the Inuit

2212 Words Jan 21st, 2013 9 Pages
Professor: Lori Barkley
Anthropology 101
November 27th 2012


A Deeper Look into Ravens Symbolic Meaning to the Inuit:
Contextual Analysis of Indigenous Mythology

Raven was an incredible animal to the Native North American Inuit culture; he was extremely symbolic in many ways. One of the most important things Raven could do was transform; he was the barrier of magic to many, being able to transform could bring happiness to everyone. The Inuit culture believed that Raven could heal many due to his magic and great level of intelligence. Raven is the keeper of secrets, and can assist the Inuit people in finding their own hidden thoughts. Raven is also amazing for being able to keep track of ancestral memories and with his intelligence be
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The Inuit people find it very useful for their society to understand the spiritual part of their culture because it helps them connect to each other and their inner self. Culture is extremely significant to the Inuit people and they spent a lot of time practicing how to greater it. In Concise Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology by Mike Morris culture is defined as: “general use, culture is usually treated as an attribute of quality of refinement in the mind, which can be accumulated or exercised through reading, attending the theatre, and classical music concerts and similar pursuits” (pg.56). Culture is also defined by Charles Winick in Dictionary of Anthropology as: “all that which is nonbiological and socially transmitted in a society, including artistic, social, ideological, and religious patterns of behaviour, and the techniques for mastering the environment”(pg. 146). The intelligence of Raven is never ending, he can do anything he set his mind too, Raven is especially good at healing.
Raven is also called upon in Native ritual for healing purposes. Specifically, the Raven is thought to provide long-distance healing. Raven is so intelligent he could heal anyone. Gale Eaton mentioned in Raven the Trickster that the Inuit, along with other cultures, believe that being able to heal is an important power; if you could heal the sick more people can survive, making it so there were…