Home of the Bear
Bears were the largest animals in European and Siberian forests. They were also the only animals who could stand up on their two feet like humans. In a sense, bears were man’s most important competitor or influencer.
Killing a bear was no easy task with ancient weapons. It was not clear whether the bear or the man would dominate forest inhabitation. The bear was so revered that bear feasts were held after killing them. Even from the last centuries, there are records of bears mauling people. Estonians started worshipping bears probably because of the East, where bears are more revered. Therefore, the bear was more important to Vikings in the East. If the wild boar is the most important animal, then the bear is the second most important. By the way, the bear is the national animal of Finland and there is also a famous Estonian children’s series about its activities called Mõmmi ja aabits (The Bear and The Alphabet).
Nowadays, as humans are living further away from nature and the countryside is more sparsely populated, bears are reclaiming their territory and their numbers in Estonia are increasing. Therefore, we have all the more reason to revere and respect the bear these days. If you go to the forest, you can easily become the bear’s guest as the forest is its home. The picture above depicts an adorable little young bear.