Bear Mother Priestess
43 x 43 x 7.5 inches, acrylic on canvas and wood, frame construction by Christopher Odegard.
Remember back five-thousand, maybe twelve-thousand years ago, far to the east; where the deep forest meets the tall mountains. Our people have lived peacefully here longer than our Grandmothers’ Grandmothers can tell. But recently, aggressive strangers have pushed into the edges of our world. We are afraid.
The wise woman has left to speak with the ancestors. She has been gone for days. As is proper, we wait for her in fasting and prayer. We dance, we sing, we sweat, we bathe, we prepare the ritual feast. Then, at the appointed hour — we travel to the cave — the sacred place where Bear-Spirit first led our people to the womb of the Great Mother.
With reverence, we enter with chanting. We enter with bear-fat lanterns in hand. We enter with bundles of food, drink, and precious offerings. Deeper and deeper into the long, winding tunnel we go; until at last we come before her — our priestess. She is sitting upon the high seat of honor, nestled among the bones of our beloved dead.
She has many important things to say.