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Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Spirit of the Great Bear

Bear Spirit Names

In many cultures, the bear was looked upon with such reverence that members of the culture were not allowed to speak the word for "bear". Instead, they referred to the animal with varied and creative euphemisms. These euphemisms are related here. The general catagory refers to names that were wide-spread through several native American groups. Many cultures found a spiritual kinship with the bears, and speaking the name of the animal would bring swift retribution from the gods.
  • Angry One (Cree)
  • Big Great Food (Cree)
  • Big Hairy One (Blackfoot)
  • Black Food (Cree)
  • Broadfoot (Estonian)
  • Dark Thing (Koyukon)
  • Divine One Who Rules the Mountains (Ainu)
  • Dweller in the Wilds (Ostyak)
  • Famous Lightfoot (Finn)
  • Fine Young Chief (Navajo)
  • Food of the Fire (Cree)
  • Gold Friend of Fen and Forest (Ural Altaic)
  • Good-tempered Beast (Cree)
  • Great Man (Siberian)
  • He Who Lives in the Den (Navajo)
  • Illustrious Pride (Finn)
  • Lord of the Taiga (Tungus)
  • Master of the Forest (Lapp)
  • Old Man of the Mountain (Lapp)
  • One Who Prowls at Night
  • Owner of the Earth (Siberian)
  • Pride of the Woodlands (Finn)
  • Reared in the Mountains (Navajo)
  • Sacred Man (Lapp)
  • The Strong One (Taglish)
  • That Which Went Away (Koyukon)
  • The Thing (Koyukon)
  • Unmentionable One (Blackfoot)
  • Venerable One (Vogul)
  • Winter-sleeper (Lapp)
  • Wise Man (Lapp)
  • Wooly One (Lapp)
  • Worthy Old Man (Ural Altaic)

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