The third story of the epic myth cycle.
Reference for the shaman came from this old photo ([link]
This picture attempts to illustrate a part of the story of Kiviuq, an Inuit hero, who married a goose, while presenting a Yup’ik counterpart of the same story. The Yup’ik man is usually unnamed, and marries the goose when she is in human form. Her feathers were actually her coat that gave her the form of a goose, so whenever she took off her feather coat, she became human. After marrying the man, she continued to eat grass, as she had done as a goose, and one day, she disappeared and flew away with the geese.
In the Kiviuq tale, the goose flies away with her children (who inherited their mother’s ability to transform) after Kiviuq’s mother expresses her frustration at her daughter-in-law’s unwillingness to eat human food. Kiviuq then goes on a quest to find her, and eventually, with the help of the mysterious Fishmaker and a giant fish, finds himself in the south, where there are no Inuit and where the geese nest every year. This southern land has trees—and this is where our hero finds himself staying for the rest of eternity. His goose-wife loses her ability to transform back into a human, so Kiviuq remains in the south. With each passing year, it becomes more difficult for him to move, as he gets older and lichens grow all over him. It is said that when he dies, there will be no more air to breathe and it will be the end of the world as we know it.
It is strongly implied both men (Kiviuq and the unnamed Yup’ik man) are shamans, because shamans are closely linked to the animal and spirit worlds. As such, they often take animal “wives”, although they did not actually have intercourse with them. Unlike Siberian shamans, who are chosen by sprits, Inuit and Yup’ik shamans choose to become shamans by learning rites and interacting with the spirit world. And that is why I chose to draw the character as a shaman.
2 hours, moleskine blank notebook, coloured pencil, ink, and copics.