Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Comparing Bears














     "Wild animals, as pointed out by F.G. Speck (1931: 28-29), are in general considered to exist in clan relationship with humans. The latter are said to be "kings among animals." Clean pure animals of the forest are referred to in terms of human relationship and their spirits must be propitiated before they can be sought for food. If the supernaturals are appeased through sacrifices, the animals will allow themselves to be taken, but if the proper ceremonies are not carried out, they can never be approached by humans. 
      Therefore, a hunter is obliged to pray and sacrifice tobacco before starting on the hunt...The Delaware consider the bear and deer to be the greatest of all animals. The bear is also called "Our Grandfather." Both animals are considered closely akin to the Indian, but the Delaware believe that the bear has the most human-like traits..."
Gladys Tantaquidgeon in "Folk Medicine of the Delaware and Related Algonkian Indians(1972, 1995)" (pg. 60) 

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