THE BEAR CULT AMONG ABORIGINAL PEOPLE OF HOKKAIDO
Every single day brings new concerns to the animal lovers worldwide because in the book of religions and bizarre cults, the sacrifice of animals is placed very high. The tragedy of such a primitive human behaviour, justified with cultural and traditional customs, is nothing but a big embarassment for all progress of the 21st century.
One community sacrifices owls, other kills goats. Then, there are those who eat dogs and those who hunt innocent dolphins. Some prey on animals for their own Gods, some chase after them for their own profit. The world is a butchery hidden behind the fake religions promises and manipulated population who has no free thoughts. At the end of the day, we can’t blame the isolated tribes and indigenous groups that practice their own rituals when we can’t control our own urban’s backward animal cruelty.
Have you ever heard, among numerous scary cults, for the bear cult? People who worship bears but at the same time, they kill them for a mercy of imagined forces.The life must be enough twisted when we discover the areas where the sense of modernity has never covered the taste of primitive and animal desires.I am not labeling the ancient native people like shameless and bestial in their own believes but I would like to invite the human race on attention to share and spread the educational enlightenment.
Mircea Eliade, the expert for the world’s religions writes about the Ainu people like about specific bear-hunters people who live in northern Japan, Hokkaido, and in the Kurile Islands but they are descendants of one another ethnic group coming from the central and northern Siberia. There were things that have been changed, but the ritual obsession with bears is the crucial part of the Ainu identity. Actually, the festival of brown bear sacrifice is known as “Iyomante” or “Kamui Omante” that means “to see off” or “to send off”. The whole point is to ensure the bear cub or even two of them for the following bear feast. That usually includes the strong will of hunters to risk their own lives to catch the baby bears and bring it to the community. The small bears are treated with great respect and affection but their destiny is deadly, after two years. The Ainu people love bears and fear sorry for their death but they do not give up on cruel traditional rules.
Before the feast will be held, there was a call to all to come and join the bear sacrifice. Mr. Eliade has even written the invitation for a feast:“I, so and so, am about to sacrifice the dear little divine thing who resides among the mountains. My friends and masters, come ye to the feast; we will then unite in the great pleasure of sending the god away. Come.” The feast has a typical barbaric design, men sit around the fireplace and women are behind. The beer is served but the real feast is starting after the poor bear is stitched directly into the heart and the bloody ceremony is over. However, the ritual of torturing the bear is enough disturbing and according to the mentioned religion expert, it is overwhelming our sensitivity:“As soon as the poor beast is out or the cage the people who have formed the ring shout and clap their hands while it is being led into their midst, and upon its arrival they take blunt arrows, which they call Hepere-ai, i.e. ‘cub arrows,’ and shoot at it, thus trying to work it up into a passion. The shouting now becomes deafening, and the bear sometimes furious. But the wilder the bear becomes the more delighted do the people get. Should, however, the animal refuse to move, he is brushed down with a stick called Takusa, the tuft on the top of which is made of Arundinaria. When the excited and struggling brute shows signs of exhaustion a stake is driven into the ground in the centre of the ring of people, and to it the bear is tied. This stake is ornamented with inao shavings and leaves of Arundinaria, and is called Tushop-ni, i.e. ‘tree having the rope.'” In one moment of the scary cult rite, the young Ainu men will come forward and start deal with the bear, seize the brute by the ears and fur of the face, pulling at the animal that opens its mouth and they stick the piece of wood into the poor bear’s jaws. It is more than morbid to imagine what they do to the bear in long period before they finally do not end up its suffering and kill it, under the relief they satisfied God and sent him back.
According to their believes, God sometimes comes on the Earth as animal , as a bear and head of all, and they must sent him back and they will be awarded. It is almost a paradox that people who consider bear as a kamui-God are doing such a terrible things to that animal, believing that they praising it.
It is interesting to see the slightly differences between bear worshipping. They sacrifice the masculine bear that means they do not sacrifice the Goddess Bear Mother, the life giver. The Ainu people strongly believe that their Gods see them equal and they love visiting them sometimes and offering them blessings.One thrilling irony of worshipping the God through the killing of him. The God will not be angry but ready to send blessings from above.
For the Western world, comforted with monotheistic religions, those kind of cults that openly favorize the sacrifice of majestic animals seem like a punch in the civilization face, the proof that we are far away from the human mankind. I would rather conclude that the high level of technology development and modern and opened believes do not guarantee that the hidden tribes will accept the new age rules. They will indeed oppose to it because no matter who we are and what we are, our Gods will be always different.