Seven Ravens, 1989
hand-appliqué wool and cashmere blankets
138 x 138 cm each (approx.)
National Gallery of Canada (no. 37777.1-2)
"These handmade valuables were ways of recording our history…I see blanket designs in terms of what they add to our culture. They are not commodities, nor are they commercial ventures, but they are ceremonial objects."
– Dorothy Grant, 1986 and 1991
The title of this work refers to a traditional oral narrative about seven Raven sisters who eventually became a constellation. The story opens in a previously blissful community whose members have fallen into a state of despair. Eagle holds a feast to mark the occasion on which the Young Ones would receive their names and to restore hope and pride among the residents of the kingdom. The community bursts to life in preparation for the gathering. Busiest of all were the seven Raven sisters, who were very fond of Eagle and wanted to help make the feast as lavish as any had been in their former days of glory. They prepared special delicacies, sewed blankets, and wove spruce-root into baskets and hats. When night fell following the successful festivities, the sisters took flight and reappeared as seven sparkling stars in the constellation known as “The Seven Sisters.”