From Ohio History Central
The Hopewell Shaman of Newark, also known as the Wray figurine, is a small stone sculpture representing a shaman, or spiritual leader, of the Hopewell culture (100 B.C. to A.D. 500). It was discovered in 1881 at the base of the largest burial mound at the Newark Earthworks.
It is a unique naturalistic carving of a man, or woman, wearing bear regalia, including a bear's head and paws. The shaman's left hand is holding the bear's head as if caught in the act of lowering the mask over his face to complete his transformation into a bear spirit. In many tribal societies, the shaman served as a combination of priest, rabbi, and healer. The shaman was believed to be able to bring rain for the crops or aid hunters in locating game animals.
The Shaman of Newark may represent a character from a myth, such as Heracles, or it may be showing us a part of an ancient ritual that was enacted within the enclosing walls of the Newark Earthworks nearly 2,000-years-ago.