Lord of the Wings: Culture and the Crow ; EXTRA
Caesar, Ed, The Independent (London, England)
CROWS IN MYTH
In mythology, crows find themselves confused, and interchangeable, with ravens. Whatever one calls the corvids, they have played a potent role in the popular imaginations of cultures all over the world. They are demi-Gods, harbingers of doom, safe- keepers and messengers.
The ancient Greeks accounted for the crow's black feathers with a tale of infidelity. Ischys, the son of Elatus and Hippea, had fallen in love with Coronis, who was carrying Apollo's child. When a passing crow - who was then, like all crows, white-feathered - told Apollo of Coronis' infidelity, he was so angered that he turned the crow's feathers black, before killing Ischys.
In Norse mythology the god Odin keeps two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who represent Thought and Memory. Odin sends his ravens around the world at daybreak, to bring him news. In Irish and Welsh myth, the Raven plays the role of prophet, and in the shamanistic cultures of the North-west American Indians, the raven helps to create the world.
CROWS IN CULTURE
Perhaps the most famous literary corvid is Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" - a work first published in the New York Evening Mirror in 1845. The narrative poem is a gothic tale of a distraught young woman visited by a talking raven in the night, and gives an account of her descent into madness. …