The Unlimited Possibilities of the Human Spirit

An Exhibit of Diversity, Community, Humanity and Environment

N Scott Momaday

3' x 4' Acrylic on Canvas "Scott Momaday 'Keeper of the Flame" © Nova Starling 2012


N Scott Momaday "Keeper of the Flame"

Artist's Comment

Scott was called "the Keeper of the Flame" in the PBS series "The West". I decided to use that concept as one of the metaphors in my painting.

Of the other imagery, I use the eagle to suggest personal power and freedom.The long separation in the gasses of the Eagle nebula suggests an entry way between two dimensions or in this case perhaps cultures. The bear represents the spirit of the wilderness. In Scott's book, The Ancient Child, the bear symbolized human-animal relations and transformation. Here the bear emerges from Scott's chest or the deepest part of his being and moves forward with his arm.

On dogs, Scott says, "The Indian feels that he is related to the animal world. That all living things are related." The relationship between man and dog goes back a long time. In the Kiowa oral tradition, one of the ways to indicate time long past, is to say, "Well, this happened when dogs could talk."


Inspiration for the painting's background was from the Hubble site, the Eagle Nebula.


The Eagle Nebula, also known as the Star Queen Nebula, is a star formaing region located in the constellation Serpens.


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