Group: AdriAnna Newberry, Danielle Fausnaugh, Sebastian Appelhanz, Ajiel Basmayor
To start off the project, we have narrowed down the research that will be done. Our research will be about ravens. We are going to look at it analytically in its role in history and modern world, as well as literature. The focus was chosen as ravens because the change of the meaning overtime is interesting. For instance, people in the past viewed ravens as a sign of good luck. Now, they are an omen of bad fortune. After all the relevant research is collected, we plan on combining it to craft a creative story, much like our class’ previous project. The creative story will be shown through many pictures drawn by other local artists, taken or found on the internet. Furthermore, our group will construct a narration to accompany the story.
Once the photos that we want are collected, our group plans on creating a slideshow as a visual for the narration. This slideshow will not be the only work to show what ravens mean in literature and history. Individually, we will be delving into further research on either literature or history about ravens’ symbolism. On the Layar app, we will add our own medium of choice and input the aforementioned research, much like annotations. We believe this would allow an audience to view something they may be more interested in because of the variety of choices, simultaneously clarifying why we chose the details that we included in our creative story. This could keep the audience from being bored from too much of the same item. At the end of the project, we hope to have a purely creative story about ravens (and how the people’s views on them have changed overtime) and our own individual mediums to explain the details that we included. Thus, our project will have a mixture of both creative expression and academic research.
March 29, 2016
- Each group member was assigned the following branches to research: modern and historical literature, symbolism in the past and present context.
March 31, 2016
- Learn how to use Layar app
- Brainstorm creative story
- Think about our own research and medium
April 5, 2016
- Brainstorm creative story, incorporating our research
- Talk to artists who will draw ravens
- Write general form of script of narration
April 7, 2016 – First Draft Due
- Basic outline of the story, relating our research to it
- Some photos/drawings will be included
- Continue writing script
- Rough draft of our own medium and research
April 12, 2016
- Meet up to discuss the build of the story
- Maybe start the slideshow
- Continue editing our own medium
April 14, 2016
- Continue working on the slideshow (maybe finish rough draft)
- Finish script
April 19, 2016 – Second Draft Due
- Submit script and rough draft of slideshow
- Edit slideshow
April 21, 2016
- Inputting our mediums to Layar
April 26, 2016 – FINAL DRAFT DUE
- Black, Susa Morgan. “The Raven.” Order of Bards and Druids. The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.
In the Norse mythology ravens were depicted as being the representation of necromancy, clairvoyance, telepathy, and that they were guides for the dead. In the Celtic mythology ravens could represent a trickster, or a being that decided the fate of the departed. In the Irish Celtic Mythology they have a proverb, “to have a ravens knowledge” which meant that you had a seers supernatural power. The raven was considered to be one of the oldest and wisest of the animal kingdom. The Welsh looked upon ravens as a being of wisdom and prophecy. Yet, in many other cultures ravens represent the negative aspects of life, such as evil spirits, death and doom, and the thief. In other cultures they can represent many of the positive aspects of life, such as creation, healing, wisdom, and prophecy.
- “Common Raven.” All About Birds. Cornell University. Web. 30 Mar. 2016. <https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Raven/lifehistory>.
An informative website, All About Birds provides a thorough, scientific view on ravens. It contains a plethora of information about ravens’ behaviors, origins and issues that they currently face as a species. In addition, there are brief facts about their role in some literature and history. For example, the website touches on their role in the Tower of London and Pacific Northwest folklore. The website’s information is relevant to the project because it will help us understand them better. Thus, we may be able to discern the mystery surrounding ravens and what makes people perceive them as cunning and “tricky”.
- Johnson, Ben. “Tower Ravens.” Historic UK. Web. 30 Mar. 2016. <http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Tower-Ravens/>.
Historic UK’s article on the Tower of London’s ravens helps our group apply our topic to modern society. It discusses the significance of always having ravens in the Tower, what the current ravens’ names are and their recent shenanigans. Their meaningful role in British history contrasts the ravens’ reputation for bad luck. According to the article, “the future of both Country and Kingdom relies upon their continued residence”. In our project, we might be able to use this disparity and compare how people’s point of view of these fascinating creatures change throughout time and different cultures. Their role in history as harbingers and protectors is a great avenue for further research.
- Kneale, Alastair. “Ravens in Celtic and Norse Mythology.” Ravens in Celtic and Norse Mythology. Transceltic, 7 Aug. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.
Ravens throughout these cultures had a sense of foreboding but also almost that of respect for the birds because they were looked upon as messengers. They could also be looked upon as that they were between the world of life and death; they could impact both the world of the living and the world of the dead. In Norse mythology they could be seen working with/for Odin; they would fly around the world gathering information for Odin. Ravens would also be seen working with the Valkyrie who would chose who lived and died in battle, the Ravens would then bring back the verdict for Odin. Throughout the Celtic and Norse Mythology the ravens could be seen around the battlefields or other places full of death and because of that they had that sense of foreboding. I think this is clarified well in a quote from the TV show One Tree Hill, “Some people believe that ravens guide travelers to their destinations. Others believe that the sight of a solitary raven is considered good luck while more than one raven together predicts trouble ahead.”
- Korotayev, Andrey et al.. “Return of the White Raven: Postdiluvial Reconnaissance Motif A2234.1.1 Reconsidered”. The Journal of American Folklore 119.472 (2006): 203–235. Web.
An exploration and comparison of Raven mythology concerning flood legends in ancient Near East societies, with later comparisons with Irish, Siberian, and others. In these, the raven was originally white and when sent out from the boat to see if the flood waters were dissipating, became distracted by the carcasses. He stayed out and gorged himself. When he finally returned late to the boat, his punishment was that his feathers were turned black. There are further discussions of the symbolism of Raven starting out white (typically symbolising purity and cleanliness) and then being turned black as punishment for gluttony, laziness, etc (black typically symbolising wrongdoing and dirtiness.)
- Newlands, Carole E.. “Ovid’s Ravenous Raven”. The Classical Journal 86.3 (1991): 244–255. Web.
A mention of a little-known Greek myth in which the Sun-God Apollo sends his raven to fetch water from a sacred fountain. The raven becomes distracted by a fig tree and waits for the figs to ripen in order to gorge himself. He then fetches the water, along with a snake on which to blame for the delay. Apollo doesn’t believe him and punishes him for his greedy laziness. This is rather matching Alaskan legends and myths in which Raven has the personality traits of being clever yet greedy, facing destruction and negative consequences through his own moral failings.
- Potter, Polyxeni. “And The Raven, Never Flitting, Still Is Sitting, Still Is Sitting.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 16.10 (2010): 1655-1656. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.
A paper written by Polyxeni Potter called “And the Raven, Never Flitting, Still Is Sitting, Still Is Sitting” analyzes a Raven in the painting “The Prophet Fed by a Raven” by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. He remarks that Clive’s paintings have been described as figurative and that all his paintings have meanings. Potter directly begins to analyze the raven in the painting. “The raven, among the most intelligent of birds, is a frequent visitor in the arts where, as in life, it has a contradictory presence, signaling both life and death.” He later goes on to explain that their black coat that covers their body gives them a handsome appearance, but today people would argue that the raven is a nasty bird. If the raven represents life and death, it is shown in the obvious way. As some see the raven as a beautiful bird, because it can strut and glide swiftly. While others view the bird as ugly and evil, because it is black and makes a loud noise that sometimes scares people.
- Sleeping Beauty. Prod. Walt Disney. Perf. Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley, and Bill Shirley. Buena Vista Distribution, 1959. DVD.
In Sleeping Beauty (1959 version), there is a bird that follows the evil “queen” around. Appearing when bad things are about to happen and cawing loudly at goodness. This bird is better known as a raven. In the movie the birds name is Diablo, and has several key characteristics that show during the movie. During the movie, he is loyal to Maleficent and she even treats him differently from her other henchmen. This appears to happen because Diablo is very diligent to his duties and dignified towards Maleficent’s orders. When asked to go searching for Sleeping Beauty, he does not question the order. This shows that he is very obedient to her and rather intelligent because he stays hidden the entire movie or by her side. It wasn’t till he left her side that he then turned to stone by Merryweather, one of the good fairies that was protecting the princess. Every scene Maleficent was in, he was also. This means that the two were connected, she even called him “her pet”. Combined with his actions that he takes when working for Maleficent, his appearance matches hers. He was black with purple bags under his eyes, while Maleficent was green with a black robe that has a purple lining on the inside. This creates another direct tie between the two because the colors were used to represent evil during the movie. The raven may not have been the number one evil character, but he was second and it showed through in his character and colors.