Bear and Fish Cycle (1971) Norval Morrisseau

In a pickle….
This Bear wandered for weeks, unable to eat or drink, trapped in glass. Last year a Bear wandered for more than a month trapped in another pickle jar. Such incidents tell me that Bears, especially young Bears love a good meal, so much so that they end up in pickle jars now and then. It also shows me that they know how to go without a meal for a long time.
Sometimes I feel that people are so removed from nature. If this little Bear was on your back porch would you treat him like a fellow being and give him a helping hand?

Members of the tribe will speak to a Bear if they meet him on a trail, addressing him as – our Grandfather to all of us, the Ojibway. The Bear understands he is being addressed with respect and will behave accordingly.

Norval Morrisseau

Bear and Fish Cycle
Norval Morrisseau
Acrylic on paper, 31” x 39”, 1971

Shamans will call the Bear to attend curing rituals and the Bear will come. When the Shaman puts on a Bear’s paws, he becomes the Bear and therefore possesses his curing powers. He can transform himself into a Bear by wearing his hide, and the Bear can transform himself into a man.

The parts of the Bear’s body are powerful substances and can be used for various magical healing purposes. And the roots the Bear can dig up with his claws are also beneficial to mankind.

The Art of Norval Morrisseau – 1979