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Cactus Gallery LA

RAVEN CARRY MY TROUBLES by artist Ulla Anobile

$ 275.00

Paper mache, acrylics, embroidered and sequined felt feathers, 13” x 12”

The figure on the right cheek is a raven’s footprint. The green/gray symbols on the neck, right side, are called ‘raven’s eye’ (korpinsilmä), which is an old Finnish cross stitch and embroidery pattern.


This poem Is from ‘Kanteletar’, which is a collection of old Finnish lyrical folk poems. Since the poems were part of an oral tradition, many versions of the same poem exist. This is one of them.

Kanna korppi huoliani,
Musta lintu murheitani
Kanna kaivohon syvähän
Lampehen kalattomahan
Aivan ahvenettomahan.
Jos kannat kalallisehen,
Kalat kaikki huolestuvat,
Ahvenet alas menevät.

Raven, carry my troubles,
Black bird, my sorrows.
Take them to a deep well,
To a pond with no fish,
One with no perch at all.
If you took them to a pond full of fish,
All the fish would grow worried,
All the perch would drown.

The origins poems are from ‘Suomen kansan muinaisia loitsurunoja’ (Ancient Spell Poems of Finnish People). It was assumed that once you could sing the origins of a phenomena or creature, you could gain power over it.
This is part of one of the origins poems:

‘Se syntyi sysimäellä,
Kasvoi hiilikankahilla,
Kerätty kekälehistä,
Sysipuista synnytetty.’

’It was born on a charcoal hill,
Grew up on meadows of coal,
Put together from glowing bits of coal,
Birthed from logs of charcoal wood.’


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