The U.S. Postal Service released a new stamp featuring traditional work by an Alaska Native artist.
The new stamp depicts a raven — an important figure for many Indigenous peoples — and references a traditional creation story.
The Raven Story Forever Stamp was created by Rico Worl, a Tlingit and Athabascan artist. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp based on Worl’s work. The stamp, created in the traditional style of individuals who are Indigenous to the Northwest Coast, shows a raven about to transform from human form back into bird form.
The raven has special symbolic significance in many Indigenous cultures from the Northwest Coast, which spans from Southeast Alaska to Washington state. The stamp is inspired by an origin story; according to legend, the raven set the sun, moon and stars free thus creating the world.
“The Raven Story represents a great meaning to the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast,” said Jakki Krage Strako, the Postal Service’s chief commerce and business solutions officer and executive vice president said in a statement.
“Raven stories are a core aspect to Tlingit epistemology ... I hope this stamp inspires people to learn more about Alaska Native and Native American cultures,” Worl said in a statement.
Stories such as the raven story, according to a statement from USPS announcing the stamp, “convey customs, ethics and cultural inheritances that help communities preserve or affirm their identities.” The proliferation of such stories is therefore integral to cultural continuity.
The stamp was unveiled at the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau on Friday.
Contact Maisie Thomas at 907-459-7544.