Native american bear art

Native american bear art DEFAULT

Born into a family of artists, Holy Bear first began hand-beading traditional Plains dolls when she was just five years old, learning from her sister Rhonda Holy Bear, an accomplished artist in her own right. A few years later, she entered a doll into a youth competition at the Santa Fe Indian Market and won her first award, a second-place ribbon. She used the prize money to buy her own horse. As a teen, she was picked up by the Morning Star Gallery in Santa Fe and used the sales of her dolls to put herself through the University of New Mexico, where she studied fine arts and art history. After graduating, Holy Bear spent years on the Native American arts fair circuit, traveling from California to Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Indiana just to sell her wares. “Social media all changed that,” she says. “I started posting photos on Instagram and people started to contact me looking to buy or have pieces made instead.”

Inspired by powwow regalia, Holy Bear has spent the last few years working on neo-traditional pendants and earrings depicting florals and animals like hummingbirds and swallows made from antique Venetian seed beads. “I love working on the shoes though because it gives me such creative freedom,” she says. “I’m really into florals right now and I’ve been working on some new designs for the Vans.” Holy Bear is still a one-woman show, laying out every pattern and hand-stitching each bead using traditional methods. Each custom pair of Vans can take up to two weeks to produce; prices vary depending on the type of beads used (karat gold are a popular choice). “To me these Vans really represent a modern spin on native fashion,” she says. “I went home to the reservation recently wearing a pair and my sister called me a ‘city Indian,’ so I guess that’s what they say to other people, too.”

Moving forward into , Holy Bear is hoping to expand into apparel (hand-beaded leather jackets were mentioned) but for now she’s still cruising on the success the Vans have brought her. “This all started because of my son,” she says. “So I just made him a new pair for Christmas.”


Jim Enote is a member of the Zuni tribe. The Zuni and other southwestern Pueblo tribes, such as the Hopi, are descendants of the Ancestral Puebloans, who inhabited the canyons and mesas of the Bears Ears region of southern Utah before migrating away in the late 13th century. In the November issue of National Geographic, Hannah Nordhaus and Aaron Huey report on the deep roots of the controversy over the Trump administration's decision to shrink several national monuments, especially Bears Ears.

Explore the dizzying cliff-side granaries of Cedar Mesa, Utah with Octavius Seowtewa, Head of the Galaxy Medicine Society of the Zuni people. To interact with this degree video, click and drag anywhere on the video. For the best experience, view this video on a computer.

Enote lives in Zuni, New Mexico, where he runs a philanthropy that supports native communities on the Colorado Plateau. But his ancestral homeland is Bears Ears, and his connection to his ancestors is alive. “I am a farmer; I am a wood hauler; I am a hunter; I fish. I continue a lifestyle that has been around careful and prudent use of the land,” he told Nordhaus recently. Their conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Could you share some of the history of your tribe?

The Zuni people emerged from within the earth to the surface at a place within the Grand Canyon, and emerged from the canyon and began exploring all the tributaries of the Colorado River, [settling] in what is called the Bear Ears area in what is now southeastern Utah. They lived there for quite a long time and built villages and farms and homes and shrines and altars. Once those structures were built, they were consecrated. Once they're consecrated they become sacred forever. We never consider them abandoned.

a sunrise prayer with members of Hopi, Zuni and New Mexico Pueblo tribes, Ute and Dine.

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Can you speak of the Zuni relationship to the people who lived in the Bears Ears region five hundred or more years ago, and to other peoples that also descended from the Ancestral Puebloans?

The Puebloan peoples have a shared and common history that goes back a long time, and we don't necessarily have to put years to it. We would just say a long time ago. We know that to be true when we visit each others' villages. We can see our shared sensibilities: We are all village-dwelling people. We are farming people. [Our] religious and ceremonial structures are similar. We can see it in the art as well. We all share a relationship to the Bears Ears area.

sunrise flight over Indian Creek.

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Why did the Ancestral Puebloans leave the Bears Ears area? What do we know about them, both from the archeological record and from native oral tradition?

[They] migrated in response to a variety of factors—including climate, and interaction with other peoples. [They] left their calling cards wherever they went. Oftentimes it was with writings etched in stone—petroglyphs. And these became maps. The Zuni maps are [also] contained in songs and prayers; they're painted on ceramics or pottery; they're woven into textiles. The petroglyphs and pictographs tell of the events that people had experienced and things that they had seen on the land and beneath the surface of the earth, things they had seen that lived in water, things they had seen in the sky. They tell of times when there were certain animals that were living there, certain birds that were there, celestial events. These are important monuments for all of humanity.

How is the Zuni tribe tied to the Bears Ears region today?

The Zuni people moved through the Colorado Plateau region, living throughout the area for many thousands of years, and eventually settling where we are today, in western New Mexico. But we still have very strong ties to the Bears Ears area, and when the opportunity comes we make our pilgrimages back to the area to visit and to affirm what our oral history tells us. When we go there we can actually see the same petroglyphs there that we will see at Zuni today; we will see some of the same ceramic style. Bears Ears is a touchstone for the Zuni people.

The Zuni people go to the Bear Ears area to pay respect to our ancestors in a way that is not very different from people going to a cemetery and paying respect to their family members. Or in a way that people may go to England to connect with their English ancestry. The people that lived there and built the structures there and carved on the cliffs there, that created the ceramics and the baskets and other things that we see there—the blood of those people is in my veins.

a protest at the state capitol in Salt Lake City against the Bears Ears reduction

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What did creation of Bears Ears National Monument mean for the Zuni tribe? And what did its reduction mean?

The creating of the monument was a hallelujah moment. We were seen as not only citizens of this great nation, but indigenous to it and part of its original fabric. The monument said that we are of this place.

When the monument was reduced, it made us think, again, we have given so much to this nation and we are receiving so little in return. Even more heartbreaking than that is when Zunis go to the Bears Ears area and we see the continual destruction done by vandals and pot hunters and the potential damage to these places as a result of unchecked development. It is just another slap in the face.

Grand Gulch in Bears Ears National Monument.

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A number of tribes—Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Paiute—came together to form the Bears Ears Coalition, which petitioned for the creation of the Bears Ears monument and has continued to fight against the reductions. What has this meant for the Native American community?

The Bears Ears struggle has brought not only the Bears Ears coalition tribes together, but others as well. Certainly for the coalition tribes, the historical and literal physical connection to the Bears Ears area is important. To other tribes, there is also the matter of the federal government honoring and respecting agreements. If there is an offense against one or more tribes, it is an offense to all tribes.

Grand Gulch in Bears Ears National Monument.

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Are there specific places that have been cut from the monument that had special significance to the Zuni?

I can't say that one pile of rocks as a shrine or one cliff dwelling or one petroglyph should receive more protection than another. They should all be protected equally. These are sacred places, not sacred sites. A site to me is a point on a map, and it would be too easy to say, “we'll protect this spring, or we'll protect this rock shrine.” When actually it is the context of place that makes those areas sacred and worthy of protection.

The Bears Ears monument is home to some of our nation's earliest antiquities. The Bears Ears monument is a treasury of time-tested Native American experience. People can learn from that place. It is a library. It is an archive. It is a museum.

Grand Gulch in Bears Ears National Monument.

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Sea Bear,


Late Native American artist and master carver Marvin Oliver's print Sea Bear depicts the elaborate figure of an orca whale transforming into a Sea Bear. The central embossed figure symbolizes a messenger connecting land to sea.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Naches Valley School District.


Late Seattle-based artist Marvin Oliver () was a master carver, sculptor, and printmaker producing works in cedar, bronze, glass, steel, and paper.

Oliver was born in Shelton on southern Puget Sound and worked within the traditions of Northwest Coast designs and themes. He was also an important influence on contemporary Native American art and artists. He described his art as "formulated by merging the spirit of past traditions with those of the present to create new horizons for the future." Many of his artworks express his ideas and Native American stories about life, time, traditions, ancestors, the universe, and his hope for future generations.

Oliver received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University in and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in He was Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Native American Art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, both in Seattle. In the s, he began a tradition of an annual “Raven’s Feast” dinner at the University of Washington to celebrate the accomplishments of Native American and Alaska Native graduates. He also gifted one of his prints to each graduate. Raven’s Feast has grown into a cornerstone of the UW Native community.

Material CategoryWork on paper - print
MediumEmbossed serigraph print
Dimensions27 in x 21 in
Acquisition MethodDirect purchase
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyNaches Valley School District
Artwork LocationNaches Valley Middle School
5th and 6th grade shared workspace
WA CountyYakima
Site TypePublic School
Address32 Shafer Avenue
Naches, WA
Geo. Coordinates |
Before VisitingSome artworks may be located in areas not accessible to the general public (especially in K public schools). Consider contacting the site prior to a visit to ensure access.


Native Indian Bear Art Decor

Native American Art and its Historical Symbolism of the Grizzly Bear

You’ve been told to run and hide at the site of them, but did you know that bears are a symbol of strength, family, vitality, courage and health for traditional Native American tribes? Native American art and legends are filled with bear-like influences, and often hold strong symbolism.  Today, the bear has a strong influence in modern contemporary art. 

Among certain tribes, the bear is known as the “protector of the animal kingdom,” because it is the strongest and most powerful coastal mammal. The Haida Native American tribe treats bears like “noble guests” and also provides them an honored burial upon death. When a deceased bear is discovered, it is brought into human headquarters and an eagle is spread upon it to show respect.

The bear is also known for its human like qualities, which accounts for the high reverence Native Americans have for this animal. One ancient legend claims that the daughter of an Indian Chief fell in love with a married bear, which was also the nephew of the Great Bear Chief. Through their union, she gave birth to twin bear cubs, and was heralded as the Bear Mother.


Another ancient Native American tradition that reverences the bear is the Indian Bear Dance, also know as the Ghost Dance. This dance is believed to bring back the spirits of deceased ancestors while simultaneously leading the bears into winter hibernation. Tradition says that the deceased ancestors join the dance in spirit form, while the bears are lulled to sleep. After that dance is complete, another dance called the Circle of Life Dance, is celebrated. In this dance Native Americans sing and chant to welcome light, warmth and sun during the time of the bear’s hibernation.

In addition to legends and traditions, some Native American tribes attribute god-like attributes to the bear because of its complex nature and characteristics. Native American cultures often noticed the speed and agility bears possessed, despite their large and massive frames. Such grace and magnificence garnered deep respect and awe among the Native American people, which is why the bear is at the center of many Native American legends, rituals, southwest art, and other forms of tradition.

Start your Art Collection Today with John Nieto&#;s Paintings

To learn more about the bear, or to view contemporary art décor which depicts the bear, visit the John Nieto website,  If you’re searching for exciting, valuable, gorgeous limited edition abstract art prints either to give as a gift or to add to your burgeoning collection, please take some time to explore our gallery online, contact us online or call () for questions about your options.


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Art native american bear

He continued to watch. The girl sat down and spreading her hairy lips with her fingers, began to write. Her jet was just as powerful.

Bear Claw Necklace (Pawnee)

It would be better to learn how to cook, you fool. - I growled irritably, scratching the bruised area. Since Ive found out so much about me, I could understand that its not going to kill me.

Now discussing:

Probably, without me he was pretty tense and tired, therefore. Andryukha, as it should be according to the script, hums something like that in response, pretending that the vodka went. Down the wrong throat.

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