"Sculpting the vision of the Deer God" print
"Sculpting the Vision of the Deer God" Print on Edition Etching fine art paper.
Available in sizes A5 and A4 (including borders).
Exploring the linkage between shamanism and potters among the Canelos Quichua people.
“In the artistic and ceremonial life of the Canelos Quichua people of eastern Ecuador, as described by Dorothea and Norman Whitten, the apex of each segment of the social system is the shaman. He achieves his position through his knowledge of and experience in traditional and contemporary worlds. Each powerful shaman has a sister and/or a wife who is a master potter, and these knowledgeable men and women transmit the symbolism of tradition and modernity to their offspring. These men and women are as familiar with their counterparts’ gender role as with their own, and each may serve as an interpreter for the other. A powerful image-making woman “clarifies” a shaman’s vision while he is in séance, and a shaman himself, while chanting, may bring to consciousness symbolism deeply embedded in his wife’s or sister’s ceramic art. What binds these distinct yet merged male/female domains is an, ancient, enduring cosmology...
...The female potters explore the actions of humans and spirits by using basic designs associated with the rainforest or river. These designs represent life forces, living beings, and mythic spirit beings and spirit masters. Often, for a festival, the potters create vessels that represent ancient mythical and spiritual beings that remind everyone of their shared ancestral roots, extending through various layers of mythic time and space. Women making pottery link the past and present, the mysterious and the mundane. Canelos women paint their faces and adorn themselves to represent the mythic union of male and female figures, and men make music celebrating recently deceased family member, other ancestors, and ancient heroes.
Most Canelos Quichua adults are shamans or potters involved in complimentary sacred and spiritual activities. Men transform part of the forest by clearing gardens, and women restore it by planting domesticated plants. The male shaman and the female potter both manipulate souls and spirits, imparting them to vessels or spirit objects. Women transfer their knowledge to the new generation through the medium of ceramic manufacture, while men do the same through shamanic performance.”
- Excerpt from “Women in Ancient America” by Karen E. Stothert and Karen Olsen Bruhns.