Why the ravens in our logo?
Throughout history ravens have had an association with knowledge and the protection of it.
In Norse mythology, Ódinn's two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory, flew around the world every day to learn of the day's news and then returned to Ódinn to report to him. In Tibetan legend, the raven is the messenger of the Supreme Being, and the Irish felt the bird to be omniscient, using phrases like raven's knowledge to mean seeing all and knowing all. There are examples from Germany, India, Siberia and elsewhere where people are advantaged by speaking with these birds or eavesdropping over the conversation of ravens. In Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, a raven attempts to help little Gerda look for her lost playmate Kay.
Ravens are also significant to Iceland's settlement. According to the story told in the saga, Landnámabók, Flóki Vilgerðarson took three ravens to help him find his way. Thus, he was nicknamed Raven-Floki (Icelandic: Hrafna-Flóki). Flóki set his ravens free near the Faroe Islands. The first raven flew back on board. The second flew up in the air and then returned to the ship. However, the third flew in front of the ship and they followed its direction to Iceland. He landed in Vatnsfjörður in the Westfjords after passing what is now Reykjavík. One of his men, Faxi, remarked that they seemed to have found great land -- the bay facing Reykjavík is therefore known as Faxaflói. A harsh winter caused all of Flóki's cattle to die -- he cursed this cold country, and when he spotted a drift ice in the fjord he decided to name it "Ísland" (Iceland).
Further, the raven has significance in Native American mythology. For example, the Raven Father is the principal creator figure of the Alaskan Inuit. At the beginning of the world he is said to have come down from the sky and created dry land. He then created a man, numerous types of animals and plants, and then a woman as a companion for the man. The Raven Father taught the man and the woman skills, such as how to raise children, make fire, and keep animals.
If you have any information, folk-tales or myths about ravens you would like to share, please contact our office.