and Yupik ("Eskimo") Transformation Art
In 2003, a few
weeks after identifying the characteristic and recurring bird-human
in artifact material at 33GU218 in Ohio, this author came upon
the traditional Inuit/Yupik "transformation art" on the
Internet. It was noted with much surprise that this
displays essentially the same
themes albeit in a much more virtuosic presentation.
Some cultural affiliation, however remote, seems unmistakable. Shown below are Inuit/Yupik works in specific common
motifs, along with lithic artifacts from the 33GU218 site
incorporating the same thematic iconography. Crude as it is in the stones, it is quite recognizable.
This should probably come as no surprise, given that similar shamanic-like imagery is very much evident in 20,000+
years BP Pleistocene artifacts of northeastern Asia (e.g. Siberia - see
Early Art of the Northern Far East: The Stone Age by Russian archaeologist M. A. Kiriyak), Siberia being the presumed
earlier residence and departure point of at least most of the earliest
migrants to North
__________ Bird or
Other Creature Emerging from Mouth __________
Bird over Forehead ____________________
Bird or Other Creature Emerging from Belly __________
One Eye Open, One Eye Closed ____________
Bird on Top of Bird (or whomever) ______________
By Osuitok Ipeelee
Two-Faced (Janus-like) Figure - Human/Animal _______
sculpture by Tukiki Manome. Note the two faces looking in
opposite directions, a constantly recurring motif in the stone
figures at Day's Knob (33GU218).
So far, one conspicuous theme in the
Day's Knob assemblage that has not (to this author, anyway) shown
itself explicitly in Inuit/Yupik "transformation art" is
that of one creature emerging egg-like from
the posterior of another. This is a bit surprising given its
prominence in much earlier "old world" lithic artifact
material exhibiting the same motifs.
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