Excerpt from Stone Age Paintings
No one saw him take the precious red onaman sand from his medicine bag, or what he moistened it with before he painted the mysterious figures on the lichen-free rock face with an ochre-reddened finger. Nor could anyone even then have known wha... t was passing through his mind. Was he in the hypnotic trance that long fasting can induce; so that later he would not be able to recognize the paintings as his own? Was he experiencing a new flow of confidence in his super-natural powers?
Yet any Cree or Ojibway, coming unexpectedly on the artist at work, and quietly withdrawing lest he break the spell that was being created, would have known with whom the dreamer had been in touch. And any one of us, had we been such a person, would have believed beyond all doubt that the shaman could leave his body in a dream, and assume powers and properties that no waking human has; and we would have had no difficulty in accepting the idea that one could even enter the living rock. Often we would have heard the old people talk about the mysterious Maymaygway siwuk who lived inside the rock cliffs beside the water. We might even have seen our shaman-doctor rub a white paste on a grandmother's rheumatic arm, and watch her smile with relief as she felt the pain go.
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