Purchase - 1979.34.7
© McMichael Canadian Art Collection

1 Lister Sinclair and Jack Pollock, The Art of Norval Morrisseau, (Toronto: Methuen 1979), 7, 70

I am a shaman-artist. Traditionally, a shaman's role was to transmit power and the vibrating forces of the spirit through objects known as talismans. In this particular case, a talisman is something that apparently produces effects that are magical and miraculous. My paintings are also icons; that is to say, they are images which help focus on spiritual powers, generated by traditional belief and wisdom. I also regard myself as a kind of spiritual psychologist. I bring together and promote the ultimate harmony of the physical and the spiritual world. 1

In Shaman and Disciples, the artist has explained that he is the Shaman (with beard); the young man on his left is his middle son Brian; the man on his right is his long time friend Shingoose (Curtis Johnnie), musician and actor. The Shaman is teaching his Chelas (students or disciples) while on the astral plane (a reference from theosophy to a plane or level just beyond normal human perception), near the City of Light. Morrisseau regards himself as being on the astral plane spiritually most of the time.

Read about the life of Norval Morrisseau