The image of the raven / crow is a central figure in the myths of many peoples: its action corresponds to the original creation, it creates light and heavenly lights, land, people and animals, etc. In shamanism he symbolizes prophecy and is considered an animal oracle. In European tradition, the raven symbolizes bad omens and misfortune.
In the rich world of Kazakh zoomorphic ornamentation, the pattern “qarqa tuyaq” – the paw of the raven – with its various graphic variations occupies a special place. In Turkish culture, the raven has the status of a demiurge and trickster, the forefather and mediator between worlds. He embodies the first gift of Tengri to mankind, the rising sun, and was called “the golden raven that meets the dawn”. He is associated with Erlik – the ruler of the dark world who brought death to the world. The raven is immortal and is the mediator between the levels of Baiterek – the World Tree. Therefore, the ideas of death and immortality are connected with the image of the raven.
For many Turkic peoples he is the totem of ancestors and inheritance. Among the Yakuts, the raven is the ancestor and patron saint of blacksmiths. The cultural historian Z. Naurzbaeva believes that the term “ūs, ūsta” – blacksmith, master – comes from the name of the bird.
The ornament “qarğa tuyak” is considered a powerful talisman and is depicted on traditional textiles.