Here’s one a bit closer to home…
I live in a rural city whose name means ‘place of many crows’ and comes from the local Aboriginal people, the Wiradjuri. As a consequence of this, there are numerous crows about the city figured in business logos and as statues – like in the photo, taken at the local Botanical Gardens. There is a lot of playing about with the representations of crows: the education conference called ‘Something to crow about’, the micro-brewery called ‘The Thirsty Crow’, the climate sustainability group called ‘CROW: Climate Rescue Of Wagga’, the local business awards called ‘The Crow Awards’, the ‘Mo Crow’ group who signed up for Movember, the ‘Crow Club’, the ‘Crow Bar’ at the local university (the logo has a crow holding a crow bar, and they have a mascot who wears a crow suit on bar nights)… you get the idea.
The funny thing is that I rarely actually see crows within the city limits… I’ve lived in this area for ten years, and they seem to be ubiquitous everywhere else, but inside the city limits? Nope.
Often when I tell people that our city’s symbol is the crow, many white people recoil in horror. They believe that the crow is a sign of evil, that there can only be negativity attached to appropriating the crow as a symbol for the city. That may have something to do with the fact that many cultures associate the crow with death in its various forms, and a lot of us white folk, we don’t like death. For some reason, lots of white folk are afraid of death… I don’t have a problem with death, and I like crows. I’ve always felt that crows didn’t originate from this plane of existence – they’ve come through from somewhere else as gatekeepers, or messengers. I find them to be mystical and somewhat otherworldly. So, whilst I am not completely enamoured with living in this city, I do love the crow imagery.