US Postal Service picks Tlingit artist’s design for a 2021 stamp

Raven stamp by Rico Worl.
Raven stamp by Rico Worl.(Courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 1:23 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A Tlingit and Athabascan artist from Juneau will have one of his designs featured in the U.S. Postal Services’ 2021 stamp program.

The stamp, titled “Raven Story” by artist Rico Lanaat Worl, is one of a dozen stamp designs that were unveiled earlier this week.

“Merging traditional artwork with modern design touches, this stamp depicts one of many stories about Raven, a figure of great significance to the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast. Among the cultures of the region, Raven plays an essential role in many traditional tales, including stories about the creation of the world. Inspired by the traditional story of Raven setting free the sun, the moon and the stars, Tlingit/Athabascan artist Rico Worl depicts Raven just as he escapes from his human family and begins to transform back into his bird form,” the Postal Service said in a release.

The Sealaska Heritage Institute says the stamp design was originally going to be announced at Celebration 2020, but the event was canceled because of COVID-19.

“It was a huge honor to be invited to participate. I also felt the weight of needing to represent well since I was showcasing as a Tlingit artist on a national platform,” Worl said in a statement. “I hope that as a designer I can represent on a national scale the modernity of Native people — that we’re engaged in modern culture while still carrying forward our traditional heritage.”

According to SHI, over two decades ago, the Postal Service released a stamp showing Worl’s clan uncle, Nathan Jackson, performing a Raven dance.

TLINGIT ARTIST CHOSEN TO CREATE STAMP FOR U.S. POSTAL SERVICE SHI helping to plan release ceremony in 2021 The U.S....

Posted by Sealaska Heritage Institute on Thursday, November 19, 2020

SHI says it’s hoping to hold a release ceremony next year.

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