Legends of the Raven’s caw

Latin speakers interpreted the raven’s call “Cras! Cras!” to mean “Tomorrow! Tomorrow!” And this soon became the symbol of the foolish sinner who puts off conversion. While others thought it symbolized the hope of something new or a better day. Here is an example from the 15th century depiction of a crow saying “cras cras”, which is not only an onomatopoeia but also means, according to the author, in Latin: “Tomorrow… you’ll die”. Actually it can be translated by an ominous “Tomorrow, tomorrow” and again, what this meant to different people could be very different. This picture makes it a little more ominous!

 

To the North American Eskimos, the raven’s cry sounded like “Kak, kak, kak!” which means ‘a deer-skin blanket.’ According to their legends, the raven’s cries warned people not to forget their blankets when they moved.

Photo by Kotsuis Hohhug

As intelligent as these birds are, it isn’t such a stretch of the imagination that the ravens could have been trying to help the Eskimos so they could survive. If they survived, then the ravens could eat the carcasses of the animals hunted. They could live near by and thus reduce their own work hunting. Who knows?

Corvids: a symbol of pride

Corvids are revered as symbols of pride, intelligence, strength throughout the world. Evidence of this can be found in poems, songs, stories, legends and even in heraldry. Many a coat of arms don the corvids as centerpieces, represented proudly. I found a really great page with many coat of arms all with corvids on them. They are definitely worth looking at if you get a chance. I am going to share just a couple of my favorites from this page. If you have a favorite, let me know!

(See more here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Crows_and_Ravens_in_heraldry)