Myth & Lore

Page 58

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The Legend of Bear
Told by Chief Spirit Hawk

Come sit with me, a lesson and story I tell today; it’s The legend of the Bear; come sit as I tell you the story and the meaning of the Great Bear Clan.

Thousands of years ago, the tribes believed that when the bear went into hibernation his spirit form would come out and roam freely over the land.

One of the famous Indian myths is about an Indian Chief’s daughter who married a young bear who was the nephew of the Great Bear Chief. The couple had twin bear cubs and she became known as the Bear Mother. In this myth the story is told that the brothers of the Bear Mother killed her bear husband. Because of this the Indian tribe the Bear clan was born, and they agreed upon using the bear as their crest. This gave honor and respect to save the relationship between the two species of bears and humans and they lived together in the forests.

There are many sacred bears in today’s modern day society; other tribes that lived on the same lands as the bear but it is the tribes of the Pacific Northwest that made the symbol so popular with their handmade artwork and crafts thousands of years ago. All of the Native tribes had great respect for such a big and strong creature, and if they killed a bear while hunting for food they had to first treat the bear like a brother and guest in the home of their chief before they could eat the meat and they wasted nothing of the brother bear they use the hide for clothing and bones for tools and the meat for health.

Everywhere you go today you see many different symbols of the bear, and some of the most common of these are things that are still shown in such as the totem pole, dreamcatchers, and jewelry among many other pieces of Native American art just like it was thousands of years ago and the animals such as the Indian bear; are known as the black bears and grizzly bears, and since long ago the true tribes like today still believe that the bear is thought to be the great masters of the forest and that is another reason they are respected; it is this respect that is shared just like the same with the land with the Indian tribes, and it's believed so what would affect one species would in turn affect the others.

The senseless killings of all animals like the great bears will lead to the end of mankind just like it will to the animals.

Chief Spirit Hawk

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