Hopewell Culture, 200BC –
Two thousand years ago on a cool, crisp April morning the sun rose over the remarkable earthen walls of Fort Ancient. As the sun rose seven individuals stood within the circle and performed a sacred fire ceremony to honor the life of a deceased loved one. Others from the village also came to honor him.
The entrance to the circle is to the east and opens to the north and south while the spirit world is to the west. That path is honored with cedar branches. Each of the seven people within the circle play an important role during the ceremony. A man and woman hold objects lovingly wrapped in animal pelts. They may contain objects belonging to the departed. They may also contain objects that symbolize great deeds he or she performed while living. The spiritual leader wears an antler-
Atop one of the earthen walls a red fox looks on. It is thought that the Hopewells regarded animals as living in societies parallel to humans –
As we look at the few remaining artifacts from Hopewell culture it is easy to forget that these people were close to family and friends and experienced the same full spectrum of human interaction and emotion that we do today.
24 x 36 Oil