Myth of Creation, two plate art print

A photograph taken of me wearing a Nepcetat (sticks to the face) mask I made inspired this print. As I looked at the image of myself, I imagined what my great grandfather and namesake, Aarnaquq, would have been saying to a Yupiit audience while wearing such a mask. Since the Nepcetat mask is the most powerful of all Yup段k masks (only worn by the most powerful shaman), I felt it would have been something extremely powerful and poignant. What then, could be more powerful then the story of our creation as told by the medicine man with the Creator痴 blessings?

In the Yupiit worldview, the Raven is closely associated with Ellam Yua "the owner or spirit of the universe" and Ellam Yua stories. However, modern religious proselytization practices have dismissed and/or dispelled traditional Yup段k cosmology, religious beliefs, and the practices of our ways of being - or has it? In this print, I offer a different perspective to the Creation story as perceived by Aarnaquq my great, great grandfather. This print represents - in spite of stringent religious and cultural assimilation policies and practices - the deep spiritual belief in traditional Yup段k ways of knowing and being. These are beliefs that many of my Yup段k counterparts have struggled with, fought to suppress, and have run from for many years. As my aunt Naulalria told me, "Aarnaquq, you are through running and are so much at peace with yourself". When I let the Yup段k ways of knowing and being flow through me, it centers me, puts things into balance, and brings me to be at peace.

In the print Creation Story, I started with the image of Raven. Raven, being close to Ellam Yua, is the channel between Ellam Yua and the spirit of the Shaman. The Raven represents the only real tangible here and now being in this image. Within the body of the raven, near the heart, is the Yua "spirit of the thing" of the shaman (a mask within the mask). Printed over the raven is the spirit of the Shaman wearing a Nepcetat mask (second mask in this image). The print depicts the shaman, during a ceremony, in which the shaman connects with Ellam Yua (much like Michael Angelo痴 "The Creation") through the raven. Ellam Yua is not depicted in this print, as the spirit of the universe is too powerful to portray. In Creation Story, the spirit of the shaman is receiving permission from Ellam Yua to tell the story of creation.

    Limited Edition Myth of Creation Portfolio Available through Crow's Shadow
    Complete portfolio with 10 lithographs (5 from San Artist, 5 from Native American Artist) comes with 6 stories on handmade paper.
    $2,000.00 Complete Portfolio
    (Limited number available through Crow's Shadow)

    Limited edition Myth of Creation individual print is available through Crow's Shadow
    Numbered Unframed Print ( 1 print left - Available at Crow's Shadow)

Source and copyright ©: Phillip John Charette