Circle of Life Series: Myths

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Sacred Hoop Graphite Sacred Hoop Color

Sacred Hoop - We are all Brothers

The art work, originally for Mission Wolf, portrays Kennesatah, a Native American spiritual leader and a master carver. The sacred hoop, a Native American symbol for the cyclical nature and unity of life, is seen behind them. Mountains and the sun decorate the hoop, the mountains from where clear waters flow and the sun which gives life to all creatures, both great and small. The hoop reminds us that every living thing depends on the life of another and that the end of one life is only the beginning of another. All life is to be respected for its contribution to the lives of others.

Medicine Wolf Graphite Medicine Wolf Color

Medicine Wolf

Native Americans believed the wolf to have great medicine. A hunter would rub his feet in ashes while singing a wolf song so his feet, like the wolves, could walk in the snow without frostbite. A woman would soothe her labor pains by rubbing her belly with a wolf skin. For helping a wolf through a difficult birth, and another who was choking on a bone, one woman was rewarded the powers of Great Medicine. Warriors sought the wolf's stamina, tracking ability, cunning, strength and wisdom. Medicine men summoned healing power through mystical identification with the wolf. Medicine men strove to become one with the wolf, painting themselves with clay and wearing his pelt to look like him. Trotting, whining and howling like the wolf was part of an elaborate ceremony to heal the sick and wounded.

Mornong Star Graphite Morning Star color

Morning Star

According to a Pawnee legend, there was a war between the Morning Star (Mars) and the Evening Star (Venus). The victor, Morning Star, and Evening Star then united, and from their union the first human, a girl, was born. In return for putting the girl on Earth, Morning Star demanded the sacrifice of a maiden, so Pawnee warriors would capture a young woman from an enemy camp. The ceremony focused on death and rebirth and since the wolf was first to experience death, his symbolic presence was essential. The captive maiden was well cared for by the Pawnee Wolf Man, keeper of a sacred wolf bundle, that her message to the heavens would bring the Pawnee favor. She would be painted half red and half black as the Morning and Evening Star to be sacrificed upon the rising of the Morning Star. In the early 1800s, a young warrior daringly saved the girl and returned her to her own. Not knowing what fate awaited him, he returned to the Pawnee, only to be treated as a hero by a people who were glad to see the custom come to an end.

Wolf Star Graphite Wolf Star color

Wolf Star

Pawnee legend tells us that a council of all the animals was held to decide how the Earth was to be created. For some reason though, Wolf Star, the brightest star in the South, was not invited. His resentment fell on the Storm that comes out of the West who was charged with seeing that all went well in his travels. Storm carried a whirl wind bag which held the first People who were freed to hunt buffalo as he paused in the night. A gray wolf, sent by Wolf Star to track Storm, stole the bag and let the humans out. Angry because there were no buffalo and Storm was not to be found, the humans killed the wolf. The People had now brought death into the world, and though this had not been the plan, it was now the way. Storm told the People to make a sacred bundle with the pelt and put in it things to remind them of what they had done. They were to be known thereafter as the Wolf People. The Wolf Star comes and goes each night as does the wolf's spirit as it travels down the Wolf Road (the Milky Way).