Collections: Arts of the Americas: Figural Group: Raven Surmounted by Three Seated Figures

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Mask (Lukwakongo)

Miniature wooden masks constitute some of the most important insignia of the second-highest grade of Bwami. Generally these miniature masks,...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Stela of Amenemhat

    The four lines of hieroglyphic text at the top of this stela list what every Egyptian wanted in the afterlife: “thousands of portions ...

     

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    Figural Group: Raven Surmounted by Three Seated Figures

    Although the exact meaning of this sculpture is unknown, it may represent the first people joining Raven, a key figure in Haida oral history. There are many tales of Raven traveling throughout the land and water. He is said to have released daylight from a box, and he acts as both a benevolent being and a trickster, or mischievous being. Raven is believed to have created the Haida when he saw small people inside a beautiful clamshell and convinced them to join him. Here the long-haired figure in front may be a shaman, a priest who uses magic for curing the sick, divining the hidden, and controlling events. The figure at the back wears a hat crowned with chiefly rings and a frog emblem, indicators of the wearer’s important status.


    Aunque el significado exacto de esta escultura se desconoce, puede representar a la primera gente uniéndose con Cuervo, una figura clave en la historia oral Haida. Existen muchas historias de Cuervo y sus viajes por mar y tierra. Se dice que fue él quien liberó la luz del día de una caja, y que actúa tanto como un ser benevolente y embaucador, o como un ser malicioso. Se cree que Cuervo creo a los Haida cuando vio gente diminuta dentro de una hermosa concha y los convenció de que se le unieran. Aquí, la figura de pelo largo que está enfrente puede ser un chamán, un sacerdote que usa magia para curar a los enfermos, adivinar lo oculto, y controlar acontecimientos. La figura que está detrás lleva un sombrero coronado por anillos de jefatura y el emblema de una rana, indicadores del importante estatus del usuario.

    • Culture: Haida, Native American
    • Medium: Argillite
    • Geographical Locations:
    • Dates: 1860-1880
    • Dimensions: 10 x 15 1/2 x 3 3/4 in. (25.4 x 39.4 x 9.5 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Americas
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 72.5.1
    • Credit Line: By exchange
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Haida (Native American). Figural Group: Raven Surmounted by Three Seated Figures, 1860-1880. Argillite, 10 x 15 1/2 x 3 3/4 in. (25.4 x 39.4 x 9.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 72.5.1. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 72.5.1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    • Catalogue Description: An argillite carving of a bird on its back surmounted by three seated figures. It is stable and in good condition. The toes on the rear sitting figure seem to be intentionally undefined. The long hair on the front figure suggests that he is a Shaman. The 'pin dots' in the centers of the eyes on the boat show the carver used a compass to create the circular forms and if so this is unusual. The piece shows great action and movement and it thought to be one of the great argillite pieces by most scholars.
    • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
    advanced 106,717 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."




    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.