Monday, May 30, 2016

Great Bear

Great Bear

 This is a new acrylic painting on canvas that I completed today. It goes along with my Coyote paintings with Native American roots. It is the Great Bear or Nyah-gwaheh, based on the story of how the bear constellation came into being.

 If you look carefully into the skies as the seasons change, you can read that story. The great bear is the square shape some call the bowl of the Big Dipper. The hunters and their small dog (which you can just barely see) are close behind, the dipper's handle. When autumn comes and that constellation turns upside down, the old people say. "Ah, the lazy hunter has killed the bear."  Each autumn the hunters chase the great bear across the skies and kill it. Then, as they cut it up for their meal, the blood falls down from the heavens and colors the leaves of the maple trees scarlet. They cook the bear and the fat dripping from their fires turns the grass white. But as the moons pass and the sky moves once more towards spring, the bear slowly rises back on its feet and the chase begins again.

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