by Eric Whollem
copyright by the artist
Pano the Bear
These faux postage stamps feature a painting that I created with
gouache and parafin and plastic emulsion resist on paper.
'Pano Maidem' means Bear Man in the Concow Maidu dialect. The
black bear is very sacred to the Maidu; and today in Janesville,
California, the Maidu have an intertribal gathering each year for
what is called 'The Bear Dance.'
I once visited the roundhouse in Janesville with Adrian Smith, the
head of the Butte County Tribal Council, back in the 1970's. He was
'Bear,' or lead dancer at one of the Bear Dances. From time to time
different people are chosen as lead dancer.
There are different Bear Doctors in Maidu tradition. The Grizzly
Doctors were greatly feared, but the Black Bear Doctors were
healers. Adrian told me that 'everyone is a doctor.' That is to say
everyone has a special 'power' or abiltiy. Almost everyone is a
dreamer. 'Netdim' means dreaming. The dream is the sacred unity
from which cultural continuity extends. The inititates of the Dream
Society are shamans, or doctors; but the more advanced doctors
are called Yeponi.
Kuksu is the name of the Dream Society, or traditional religious
organization of the Concow Maidu. Moki is the head priest of the
Kuksu Dream Lodge. The Kuksu idea began in Oroville, California
but subsequently spread to other Native American groups across
the state: the Wintun, the Cato, the Pomo, and the Miwok.
Readers interested in my posts on Shamanism might be interested in the following:
To read what I have to say about the Maidu Indians view this link:
Those interested in Dreaming may want to see:
Artist stamps, artistamps, cinderella stamps, cyberstamps, fantasy stamps, faux postage, mail art, micronation stamps. Shamanism; mythographic art; mythology; Maidu Indians; dreaming.