The great spirit Nanabush works to build the earth on the shell of a turtle. He forms rich flowing bands of land, hills and mountains that eventually transform into a female who seems to be praying. A beaver, otter and muskrat surround Nanabush. Waves wash upwards from the river into the sky drawing together the land, water and air. And above it all the thunderbird looks down watching what is happening in the world.
Creation of the World is a mural by First Nations artist Daphne Odjig painted for the Manitoba Museum in 1972. On a visit to the museum yesterday I found out there are plans to give this iconic artwork a more prominent spot in the museum after a renovation process is complete. Roland Sawatsky, the museum’s curator told us that relocating the mural is part of a larger effort to make the museum a place where many different perspectives on the history of Manitoba are exhibited.