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US Postal Service issues new Raven Story stamp with formline design in Juneau

Raven stamp by Rico Worl.
Raven stamp by Rico Worl.(Courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 1:52 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The U.S. Postal Service has officially issued a new forever stamp designed by an Alaska Native artist at the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

The stamp depicts the raven, a core part of Tlingit iconography and storytelling, as it transforms back into a bird from being human. The raven is shown setting the sun, moon and stars free.

Rico Lanáat’ Worl, the Tlingit and Athabascan artist who designed the stamp, said he hopes this national platform helps teach Americans about Tlingit culture. He also hopes Northwest Coast formline design is designated as a national treasure by the federal government.

“It’s an art form that is recognized worldwide,” Worl said.

Sheets of the new Raven Story stamp are sold in Juneau. (07/30/2021).
Sheets of the new Raven Story stamp are sold in Juneau. (07/30/2021).(KTUU)

The stamp was officially issued on Friday by Jacqueline Krage Strako from the U.S. Postal Service. She said the words “forever” and “USA” on the stamp are significant.

“This is our way of saying that the raven stamp epitomizes the best of America and will always do so, forever,” she said.

The Postal Service chose Worl’s design to be part of the 2021 stamp program last year. Its official unveiling was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Raven Story stamp is unveiled outside the Sealaska Heritage Institute. (07/30/2021)
The Raven Story stamp is unveiled outside the Sealaska Heritage Institute. (07/30/2021)(KTUU)

A few hundred people came to the first day of issue ceremony in Juneau and to get sheets of the new 55-cent stamp.

Marlene Johnson, the chair of the Sealaska Heritage Institute Board of Trustees, spoke at the ceremony, saying Worl “has done us proud” by depicting a Tlingit origin story.

“We have been here for 10,000 years and we will be here for 10,000 more,” she said.

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