Winter Solstice Celebration

Fort Ancient 200BC – 500AD

On a cold December morning two thousand years ago the people we call the Hopewell prepare for a winter solstice celebration.  Bracing themselves against the wind and bitter cold they trudge through the snow and darkness to meet within the earthen walls of a place we now call Fort Ancient – a sacred place where all ceremonies take place throughout the year.

Winter must have seemed relentless and unforgiving without the light, heat and  comforts we take for granted today.                                                                                                               

During the long night the fire keepers prepare a massive fire on top of a limestone covered mound. Slowly the people, young and old, gather. The little ones need to be reminded of the importance of the upcoming ceremony. Looking east the people see a soft glow of light in the sky as it slowly brightens. The people align themselves between the opening in the earthen wall and the mound. A hand drum plays softly and gentle singing gives way as a fire keeper lights the fire. As the flames leap toward the sky the ceremonial leaders raise their arms to happily greet the Brother Sun who brings hope for a future with longer days and happiness to his people.

48 x 36 Oil