Chumash Dream Images

By David Chethlahe Paladin

The Shuwish, a tribe related to the coastal California Indians, painted Dream World sequences in caves and on cliffs as far inland as the Colorado River.  The figures represent "shu-shu" or the spirits of ancestors and spirit homes, the star like figures.  It was believed that such shamanic portrayals honored the ancient spirits and enlisted them in helping humankind.

As I was doing this painting I got the impression from the consciousness that

24" x 20", Acrylic on Board

 I was touching that many traditions need to be brought back and included in ritual celebrations today.  The ritual portrayal of the ancestors of the Chumash  through shamanic art needsto be continued to preserve our awareness of our interconnectedness with the ancestors and our responsibility to creation as participants in creation. 

Like most American Indians, the Chumash believed that their response to creation did have an effect; they were not helpless victims of a capricious universe.  By creating rituals and keeping the traditions, the people affirm their sense of belonging to and participating in all of creation.  Even quantum physics recognizes that the observer becomes the participant in scientific experiments.

Humankind needs to reconnect with the forces of the heavens and of the earth and of the ancestors to restore the balance of life.  When we deny our ability to respond to a keeping of the order then our part of creating reality is weakened and reality itself is weakened.

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