Human-Animal Transformation


Figure on the left:

“Great Sorcerer” of the cave of the Trois-Frères in Ariège (France), according to Abbé Breuil’s reconstruction. The figure shows large deer antlers, an owl face, wolf ears and a long beard. The arms end with bear’s paws and the body has a long horse tail. The lower limbs and the posture are humanlike. The interpretation given to this image is that of an “Animal Master” (spirit being who protects the animal species) or that of a shaman in an animal disguise, representing his capacity of transformation. The painting is attributable to the Magdalenian period (15/12,000 years B.P.).
[Image: Breuil 1952]

Figure on the right:

Picture of the image carved and painted on the wall of the cave of the Trois-Frères in Ariège (France), whose details are not visible in the photo and can be apprehended only with the aid of the reconstruction.