Sermaka Omare: The Ainu motif of protection. An analysis of traditional Ainu artwork
The purpose of this thesis is the preservation and discussion of the artwork of a culture that has been marginalized and almost made to vanish from history. The Ainu people have been pressured to assimilate to either Japanese or Russian cultures in the past. Only recently have they been able to assert their rights as indigenous people and are rebuilding their culture. Interpretations of patterns, through the scope of art history, have been made and linked to the motif of protection, which is referred to as sermaka omare. Necessary to understanding this culture, an explanation of their traditions opens the thesis, and then an examination of their traditional works becomes the content.