He was meant to be an amalgam of Golem and some Japanese forest spirit hiding in the dark corners of my mind. The Manitou, as I understand it is an amazing transformation spirit animal. As this one is at least partly human, I felt the forest spirit had become an urban one.

This one is all charcoal and I used my fingers to smudge it into this ghostly shape.

I’m really sorry if anyone feels this is appropriation, but I’ve been drawing my own sorts of forest spirits for decades. I’ve also been in love (almost obsessed) with folk tales and spirit stories from around the world since I was about 5. So, feel free to engage me in my understanding of what a Manitou is and I’ll happily share what I know (from the Ojibwe folklore), and gracefully accept any corrections.

See more at Arts MPerron @ https://1-mario-perron.pixels.com

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4 thoughts on “Urban Manitou

    1. Thank you, Sand.
      I’ve been working on getting better at explaining my work and inviting comments. Some of the things I’m interested in are as follows: what do you see in this piece? What attracted your eye and why? How does it make you feel?
      As for the posts on folklore, be been fascinated with it all my life. I have so much in my head, I don’t know where to start. Maybe you can help me with that by asking me some questions of interest to you. Then we can start a conversation on the topic and see where it goes. Are you in?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow. Okay. Hmm. Where to start… well… I’ve been reading the hero with a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell… not precisely folklore, but his premise is that all cultures share the same myths, even if the details and everything is different, the underlying themes and archetypes are supposedly more or less the same. So I was curious… coming in from this perspective, wondering if there is something also universal about folklore.

        The antler like horns. I thought of Pan from the Greek pantheon and Cernunos from the Celtic. Your reference to Japanese folklore brought to mind Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke for me… to which, now that I am pondering your questions, actually is reminiscent of that forest spirit in Princess Mononoke. I suppose, what draws me is the symbolism of the horns… because immediately my mind made several references. I do have more thoughts on the horns, but I’m not sure if they’re fully formed yet.

        So… I hope that reply didn’t get off track.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right on track in more ways than one. Campbell’s book, as well as the Moyer’s series with him (The Power of Myth), is where I started filling my Mythology tank many years ago. I’ve been reading creation stories, ghost stories, legends, and myths from all over the world ever since. They all get jumbled together in my mind.
        The forest spirit from Princess Manaoke is probably an unconscious part of this guy too. As are the seemingly endless legends you can find awesomely revealed in Mike Mignola’s works (mainly Hellboy).
        I have to admit that my fascination for Asian demons is the greatest. The beautiful tension created by the fact that they are often good spirits and terrifying at the same time is delicious to me.
        I’m also deeply moved by the transformation stories (and imagery) of the Inuit people.
        Right now, I’m researching The Hopi stories for a paper I’m doing on Kachina dolls.
        The curiosity never stops and I often feel there is just not enough time to learn and share it all, but I try anyway.
        I’m not sure if I answered your question, so feel free to ask it in a different way or any other.

        Liked by 1 person

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