Iyomante - イヨマンテ
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This painting was made Circa1870 by a Japanese Artist. The subject matter is Iyomante, a day-long ritual of returning the Bear God to Kamuy Mosir (Land of the Gods) with gifts of millet cakes, wine, fine cloth, and other offerings. The Bear God of the Ainu people was often simply called Kamuy, or if He had a particular mood he was in, they would add something descriptive of that mood. An example is Wen-Kamuy, used to describe an angry Bear God who had eaten people. In Iyomante, a lone bear cub is found in the forest. He is brought back to the village and is treated like a member of the host family. When he comes of age 4-5 years later, he is released from his corporeal form to return to the Land of the Gods with his gifts. It is the hope of the Ainu that He will relate his good time to the other Gods and spirits, who will also trade flesh and fur for gifts from the humans.