(For Gaby -- this is a Native American folktale)
In the beginning, before the People, Rainbow Crow was the loveliest of all birds, with bright feathers and a beautiful singing voice. The world was warm and peaceful in perpetual summer. Then the Creator thought up the idea of snow and ice, and winter came. At first the novelty enchanted the animals, but soon the small animals got covered in snow drifts, and food became scarce for everyone.
The Wise Owl had the idea to send someone up to Heaven to ask the Creator to unthink winter, and get it warm again. Rainbow Crow got the job. He flew for three days and nights. He flew longer and higher than any bird had ever flown, through the very stars, until he found the Creator. The Creator was quite busy and didn't notice him. So Rainbow Crow began to sing and his lovely song soon caught the Creator's attention.
The Creator was most pleased by Rainbow Crow, and offered him a gift. "For my gift, may I ask that you unthink Snow and Ice? We are cold and hungry." The Creator told him, sorry, once a thing was thought, even He could not unthink it. But then the Creator took a stick, poked it into the Sun until it flamed, and gently placed the cool end into Rainbow Crow's beak.
"This gift is called Fire. It will keep you warm, and help you to find food. But it will burn quickly so hurry back to the world."
Rainbow Crow flew as fast as his wings could carry him but as the days passed the stick grew shorter and the fire got closer and closer to his body. His tail feathers caught fire and the smoke burned his throat and lungs. Burning, smoking, he plummeted to the Earth like a meteor. But such was his cleverness that he managed to keep the stick lit. His lovely voice was gone, replaced by a harsh caw. His brilliant feathers were sooty and burned, but with his sacrifice he saved his fellow creatures from winter.
Despite the respectful treatment and gratitude everyone showed him, the loss of his beauty saddened him. One night, while sitting off by himself, the Creator came to him on a breath of wind. "Don't despair, brave Crow. When People come, and they will, no Man will ever cage you for your fine song. He will never hunt you, as you will taste of smoke. The other animals will never harm you, out of respect for your deeds. You will be free for all eternity. And if you look closely, you can still see the beauty you once had."
And it's true. If you examine a crow feather very carefully, you will see it has a beautiful rainbow colored sheen.
This is more just an information sketch book page on the tribe that the Rainbow Crow story originates from: the Lenni Lenape tribe, as well as a potential visualization for the story. The sketches are based on research and photographs taken of this tribe (known as Lenape, Lenni Lenape or the Delware Indians (the name given to them by the European settlers)) and are as close as I can get to genuine tribal traditions. We dont have much visual representation of indigenous peoples on HitRecord, despite the wealth of amazing imagery associated with those cultures. This story could be a brilliant opportunity for us to really dive into them, and also respectfully and accurately portray a classic folk legend.
Suggested Visual Treatment for Rainbow Crow:
Color and light play such a huge part in this story, that I think the color choices in the illustrations should be quite minimal and very intentional. During the ravages of winter, keep the world mostly muted in grays, blacks and ghostly blues (this includes the people and the animals) with the exception being Rainbow Crow. As Crow flies towards the home of “the creator who creates by thinking what will be” there are slight yellows coming from the low hanging sun but still Crow is the most vivid and most beautiful. As Crow carries the stick back towards earth the fires blazes with the same intensity of Crow’s rainbow wings which are slowly turning that deep unforgiving black. The beauty of the color is not entirely lost though because once fire is brought to earth and given to the people and the animals, whatever it illuminates is filled with bursts of color all the exact hues that used to present in Crow’s wings.
Much respect to K-Wiz on the Beats, killin' 'em again!
Also, shouts out to all the HitRECorders I "remixed" in this video. Great stuff as always, so I had to use them.
I've also uploaded the video without the remixes in the "remix file." A little backwards I guess, but there you have it! Until next time, keep RECording!!!!
STORYTELLERS: Contribute a Voice Over performance of you telling THIS STORY in your own words.
VISUAL ARTISTS: Draw Visuals for this story.