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Bear

ᒋᔐᔮᒄ / ᑳᑯᔥ

Bear was considered so powerful, it was treated with more ceremony than other animals - to show respect : After the kill, it was welcomed into the dwelling with food and tobacco.
A feast followed. Then the bear’s skull was painted and the chin decorated with beads. Finally, the skull was hung from a tree.

 


Respect

Sarah Wapachee with a bear that has just been brought into the dwelling.

Bear cubs in tree.

Sarah Wapachee and daughter Alice holding a photograph of Luke Mettaweskum.

Bear and beaver skulls in tree.

Luke Mettaweskum – father of Sarah Wapachee and Hattie Moses – was a great bear hunter. When the fish were spawning, he used to sit strategically behind a rock and wait for a bear to herd the fish. Distracted by the fish congregating along the shore, the bear was unaware of the danger.