A mythical journey

Maahenki, 2017
”Of all the animals big mammals are of exceptional importance. They are loaded with power and they have connection to the spiritual world. They were perhaps the mythical forefathers of the clans, the spiritual helpers of the hunters, and the assisting animals of the shamans. Pictures of them were made deep in the hollows of earth – in the innermost parts of caves charged with powers”.
A mythical journey is a trip of the mind in the footsteps of men that made pictures of animals, from the Ice-Age caverns in south-western Europe to the open skies of the Nordic countries. It describes the millennial relation between man and animals and tries to reach the experience and mindscape of the ancient hunter. The starting point is mankind’s oldest pictures – the cave- and rock-art of the Stone Age. Acting as tour-guides are bears, elks, deer, the extinct auroxen, mammoths and wild horses.

Animals have always been associated with man’s myths and beliefs. In ancient cultures animals were important sources of food and raw-material, but they also had a deeper significance. Through them people perceived their own place in the sphere of life, and tried to get in touch with the universe. They and pictures of them had an important role in the communication with the spiritual world.

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