After the Bear Dance (1997) Norval Morrisseau

After the Beardance Ceremony
The MicMichael Canadian Collection – 1997

Norval Morrisseau performed a Beardance Initiation on Sept. 28 1997. It took place on the grounds of the McMichael Canadian Collection in Kleinberg, Ontario. Protege, Ritchie Stardreamer Sinclair and spiritual son, Gabe Weekan Vadas, took part. This film shares what transpired after the Beardance. The following passage describes this film and provides a transcript of Morrisseau’s address to those present.

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Copper Thunderbird completes the sounding of the drum. Bear is laid to rest. Stardreamer expresses his appreciation to the Grand Shaman and returns the Kodiak Bearclaw that Copper Thunderbird presented to him when Stardreamer accepted Bear as his Shamanic guide seven years before.

Copper Thunderbird places his hand on Stardreamer’s forehead to ordain him. He places the ceremonial headdress of the Grand Shaman on Stardreamer’s head to empower him.

Assistant Shaman, Weekan, thanks Bear who is then placed at Morrisseau’s feet. Morrisseau removes Weekan’s Shamanic headdress and places it on Bear. He gifts Stardreamer’s Bearclaw amulet to Weeken and then speaks to those gathered….

Thank You people

The Blessing is free. We won’t charge you

We don’t generally do this in public.

I am a Grand Shaman. This is like when the bishop comes to his chuirch and gathers his priests to ordain…. the ones that he is going to ordain.

He’s a Shaman…
Mind you this guy’s a Bear and we are going to ordain the Bear as well.

Our people a long time ago… had these types of ceremonies that weren’t too public.

And the reason why they did it… it was an earth renewal ceremony. Everything renews itself because we are too polluted. Everything that we breath. Everything that we eat. The only thing I guess that’s not polluted yet is our Spiritual environment. But it is our duty to maintain and keep that environment intact… if we ever get it polluted.

So each individual person that views the ceremony can interpret it in his own way…to give him an idea

Its the same thing as a person who goes to see a picture inside the art gallery. It is nice to sell those pictures, but yet the real purpose is for someone to look at the paintings.

I don’t know how many of you people ever have Technicolor dreams but in that Technicolor world that we have inside each one of us… every time you look at my pictures or the colors,… the colors especially… not the images…it brings out that Indianess in you…

For we are only here to bring out more Indianness.

Norval Morrisseau
1997 Beardance Ceremony at the McMichael Canadian Collection