Raven Language: "Connected with the raven's function as messenger is its ability to speak or understand the language of men, and of men to acquire understanding of its speech. When a Siberian shaman conjures up a spirit it talks in its own language unless it is a wolf, fox or raven, which have human speech. In an Icelandic tale we hear of a bishop who understood raven language. The German legend of Faithful John who overhears three crows talking and is thereby forewarned of three dangers is paralleled in India by the story of Rama and Luxman. The Buriats relate that a man learned how to cure a Khan's daughter by overhearing the conversation of two ravens." E.A. Armstrong, The Folklore of Birds. New York, 1970.

Tlingit: In 1989, cultural anthropologist James Clifford attended a meeting at the Portland Art Museum between "‘about twenty people (who) had gathered to discuss the museum’s Northwest Coast Indian collection." The group included "Tlingit elders accompanied by a couple of younger Tlingit translators." The objects under discussion were in the museum’s Rasmussen Collection, amassed in the 1920s in southern Alaska and along the coast of Canada. "The curatorial staff seems to have expected the discussions to focus on the objects in the collection…In fact, the objects were not the subject of much direct commentary by the elders, who had their own agenda for the meeting.They referred to the regalia with appreciation and respect, but they seemed only to use them as aides-memoires, occasions for the telling of stories and the singing of songs." J. Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA (Harvard U. Press), 1997.