Woman Who Turned into a Bear (1994)



Wood Engraving

Dale DeArmond

Edition of 25

Edition of A/P: 2


Paper type: Archival quality

Print size: 9" x 10"

Image size: 5" x 6"


Hand pulled by the artist from the original endgrain maple block on an Ettan etching press at Sitka, Alaska, June, 1994.


A Yupik folktale: Once long ago a man and his wife and baby were living by a great river. The man was a good hunter and they lived well. One day the man went over the hill to hunt. He kept going back and staying longer and longer and at last the wife put on a bear skin and followed him. She found he had another wife on the other side of the hill. She was so angry she attacked them and left them lying on the ground. When she got home she rushed into the house and forgot to take off the bearskin and the baby was so frightened by the great angry bear that it turned into a tern and flew out the smoke hole. The mother tried to coax the baby to come to her but it just kept circling. At last the heartbroken woman wandered off and turned into a bear.


If you are out on the tundra and see a tern circling and circling you know there is a bear nearby.