This is a story of a man. A man with little patience and bad intentions. For him everything had to be quick and to the point, never mind details… “get on with it”, was his attitude. This time he had pushed his impatience to far.
Not long arriving into a new and unfamiliar camp, where his ways were unknown, he approached their shaman. His intent was to learn the ways of shamanism with the hopes of benefiting himself. Over a short period of time he had gained the confidence and admiration of all. Because of this the shaman of the camp was more than willing to teach the newcomer the shamanistic ways and rituals.
As always, the man was not interested in the details involved with the different reasons for a ritual. He ignored details, usually looking around or just daydreaming, but never noticing the little things that make up a proper ritual.
After several visits with the shaman, the man thought he was ready to attempt the process on his own. Gathering everything he thought was needed for the ritual, he set everything up in his igloo. He began to say the words that he remembered and shook and tossed some bones — and with his first attempt, nothing happened. Several more attempts later, he was becoming frustrated. He sat and tried to remember everything the shaman had shown him. That is when he noticed he was missing some feathers. Off he went to retrieve some but to no avail. He thought the easiest place to get the proper feathers would be to take them from the shaman.
He crept into the shaman’s igloo and thinking he was asleep, took the feathers from the shaman’s pouch. The man didn’t know that the shaman never really sleeps, and when he does it is with one eye open. The shaman didn’t say a word — he let the man take what he was looking for and leave.
As the man was entering his own igloo, he was unaware of the shaman following him. The man began his chanting and the shaman listened. Unbeknownst to the man, the shaman had used his own powers to help the man enter the spirit world — and as he was entering — the shaman was there waiting for him.
The man was so surprised that his transformation stopped part-way through its progress. That is when the shaman said, “because you have deceived us and you have stolen from me, you are banished here in the spirit world as the form you are now.”
Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.
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