Religion Past and Present

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Bear Festival
(466 words)

[German Version]

Many small-scale, indigenous societies in Eurasia and North America venerate bears (Grizzly, Black, Polar, and Kodiak). This continues one of the oldest ritual practices among hominids in which the human skeletal remains have been arranged with bear bones. Because of their anthropomorphic qualities bears are also revered in ceremonies, remembered in myths and stories of the hunt, and evoked in rituals especially for healing. Bears are likened to humans because of their ability to …

Cite this page
Grim, John A., “Bear Festival”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 01 April 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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