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           Series:  Mixed Medium on paper

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"Masks of God ... YUA, Arctic Spirit"


26"H x 20"W    Acrylic paints, gold leaf, inks, pastels, craypaux on Bristol Board


The peoples of the Arctic live in the earth’s most inhospitable location for survival.  They live on a diet of flesh & blood.  Each hunt is begun by showing respect for the animals that they need to kill for their own survival.  Hunting weapons  designed with images of beauty express their hope for success, additional power and are designed with zoomorphic images, beasts, animals of the sea. All North Pacific groups believe that hunting success is determined by the willingness of the animal spirits to make themselves available to the hunter.  This belief was stronger for them than believing in luck or hunting prowess.


Inspired by an Inuit hunter who told of his life, I have found a vision of fear.  The ocean is of blood.  The spirits within it are hunting, reaching for survival.  This Inuit hunter said that he and his family always lived in fear.  With one hunting failure or weather change they could all die. 

He told of showing respect for a seal that they had killed.   They put fresh water in its mouth so that the seal’s spirit could tell other spirits that these people had respected and treated him well.


My journey in quest of Masks of God has opened the human spirit for me in its manifest differences.


Photo by Lance Kuehne


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