Ainu woman with bear cub. The Ainu revere bears, believing their gods can incarnate as bears to watch over them. In early December, a bear cub would be raised among them, fed and loved. Then it would be sacrificed, using special arrows, so that its soul could return to the gods in the heavens with their prayers.
GRATEFUL DEAD dancing bears (wiki):Dancing bears: A series of stylized dancing bears was drawn by Bob Thomas as part of the back cover for the album History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear's Choice). The bear is a reference to Owsley "Bear" Stanley, who recorded and produced the album. Bear himself wrote, "... the bears on the album cover are not really 'dancing'. I don't know why people think they are, their positions are quite obviously those of a high-stepping march