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Cactus Gallery LA

OSMOTAR (Creator of beer from Finnish folklore) by artist Ulla Anobile

$ 300.00

Found wood, paper mache, acrylics, improvised cross-stitching on burlap, embroidered felt, wooden beads, wool fibers

16 1/2” tall, 11” at the widest part

The Birth of Beer story:  I made it as brief as I could; you should read the original story and its several versions, with their endless alliterations & repetitions!

🍺It is joked that in the Finnish epic Kalevala, 400 lines deal with beer, but only 200 with creation. It is no joke however that many sources describe beer as the ‘sacred drink of the Baltic-Finnic peoples’, various rituals and celebrations attached to it proving the point.
🍺This is a ‘flash’ version of the beer story that inspired my Osmotar doll. I used a combination of Poem 20 in Kalevala, and chant 27 (The Birth of Beer) in a volume called ‘Ancient Spell Poems of Finnish People’.
💍A big wedding was being planned in Pohjola, the legendary North Country. It became Osmotar’s job to find the beer recipe that would bring happiness to the wedding crowd, which included many legendary heroes.
🐿️As is typical of folk legends, it took three steps to produce the proper brew. The task to fetch the missing ingredient was first given to the Squirrel, then to the Marten (sometimes also translated as Badger), both of whom failed.
🐝Finally, the Bee was successful. When it brought mead on its wings from a flowering meadow on a distant island, that fermented the ‘happiness-inducing’ brew to overflowing.
🍺It was ‘the finest beer’, says the story: ‘the best drink for prudent people, causing women to laugh, creating a jolly mood in men, making the wise happy, but causing fools to stumble around’.
🌾Some of the beer recipe is included in the necklace of my Osmotar doll: 6 grains of barley (blond beads), and 8 ladles of water (8 blue beads). The 7 heads of hops are represented by the leaves at left, the big hops cone in her hand, and the abstracted hops vines in the cross stitching on her skirt.
🐝On the flaps of her cap, I embroidered the heroic bee (right side of photo), and the meadow flowers (left).

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