Alaska was my first solo trip, to get over my fear of flying so I could get to Europe the following year. One of the themes I saw repeated on totem poles, jewelry and other art forms was a bird with a disc in its mouth, a depiction of a First People’s tale called “Raven Steals The Sun.”
The story has several varients, but they all tell of a world of darkness, and of a chieftain who had three cedar treasure boxes containing the Sun, Moon and Stars. The trickster Raven, learning of the treasures and wanting to bring and end to the eternal darkness, shapeshifted into a child who begged to play with the boxes. Once they were in his hands, he turned himself back into a Raven, and flew up through the smoke hole of the chieftain’s longhouse with the treasure boxes, which he opened high up in the sky. The contents spilled out, forming night and day and bringing light into the human world.
The legend has now inspired a hat, with a decidedly Gothic twist. You can read the details of the full design process at August Phoenix Hats.