There is something a little different I want to share today. It's a gorgeous-very clear- day in San Diego, but I've been caught 'surfing' this morning. It all started with a cute little booklet I picked up at a local library book sale for .25 cents called- Denali: A Living Tapestry. I love that park and it's land- I've been there twice! It makes me chuckle because both times I was never able to actually see Mt. McKinley! For those of you outside our country..Mt. McKinley is in the state of Alaska and is the tallest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet. It was under it's blanket of clouds both time when I visited that area! You can not drive within the park...you travel on a old school bus along the winding path to the observation area. Both times I was able to see beautiful huge grizzles bears! One was walking besides the bus when we stopped!
Anyway, where am I going with this? In this booklet, I found a wonderful story explaining why crows are black! So after doing some ethnographic surfing, I could not get my 'hand's' around The Geese House report by Susan Morton. It is an out of print publication written for the historic site committee in Alaska. Even going to the University of Alaska anthropology section, I could not find a thing! However, when I make these attempts I always find loads of information that I would love to explore!
The Geese House is included in an oral Athabaskan tradition. It is a remote natural rock formation 'house' lichen-stained outcroppings streaked with black, ochre, green, yellow, and orange:
"Raven was getting his feathers painted at Geese House and was being very picky about how it was done. Each time they painted him with a different color, but he was never satisfied because it wasn't bright enough. So they got mad at Raven and threw all the black paint on him. That's why he is all black. " ...told by Julius Bettis of Nenana.
Perhaps the colors in the lichen were the streaks of the attempted color?
Hmmmm....best 25 cents spent I'd say ;)