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The Burning 1973 Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. Collection of Herb and Peggy Puffer
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The Konkow Maidu held burnings, or mourning ceremonies, in the autumn to memorialize all those who had died in the prior year. On occasion they were held for an individual at the time of death. The burning depicted here honors an important dancer, indicated by the deer, mountain lion, eagle, coyote, and bear skins, all once used as regalia, arranged upon the poles. At right is an effigy, a sacred representation of the deceased spirit. It is made of a deerskin, dressed in dance regalia and equipped with bow and arrow. At the height of the ceremony, this image would be burned in honor of the dead.