Love Stories from the Land of Many Lakes, part 11: The Loving Earth
Updated: Jun 22, 2019
Odemiini-giizis (Strawberry Moon) / Baashkaabigonii-giizis (Blooming Moon), June 22, 2019
Aaniin. Biindigen! Hello, welcome to this blog! Today's blog story is the eleventh already in a series named "Love Stories From the Land of Many Lakes." It's a collection of love stories written and provided with jewelry images and illustrations of artwork by myself as well as by kindred artists. The stories are based on aadizookaanan (traditional stories) of our People, the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg of Gaa-zaaga'eganikaag, the land of many lakes - the Great Lakes area of North America. These narratives are of a sacred, healing nature and told within a romantic context, their allegorical themes often provided with a personal touch.
The following tale is a zaagi'iwewi-aadizookaan (sacred love story). It is narrated by way of a set of wedding bands. My jewelry are essentially storyteller mediums; the technique of overlay, which I use to replicate the "graphic outline" imagery of the Native Woodland Art School, is perfect for conveying the aadizookanan of our People.
The intriguing silhouette of Nibaad Misaabe (the Sleeping Giant) at Thunder Bay, according to tradition the sleeping body of a petrified manidoo (spirit), inspired me into integrating the two adjacent human faces and bodies into the design of the above rings.
The red gold part and the oxidized silver outline of the design represent the bodies and spirits of two soul mates becoming one with each other and with the earth mother herself. From her fertile womb we sprang, and unto Mother Earth we shall return.
The white gold parts of the rings, bordered by a flowing blackened outline and inlaid with celestial bodies of red gold, represent Giizhig, the SKY FATHER.
The title of this set of wedding rings and the symbolism incorporated in the design – the oxidized (sulphured) earth line merging with the red gold bodies and faces of two lovers gazing up at the sky and the yellow and red gold inlay at the back of the rings representing sun and moon – refer to the deep love between two people against a background of the all-embracing belief in the cycle of life and to our interconnectedness with the earth, the sky, and all that is part of the universe - be it the physical, the non-physical, and the metaphysical...
Giiwenh. Miigwech gibizindaw noongom mii dash gidibaajimotoon wa’aw zaagi'iwewi-aadizookaan. Bi-waabamishinaang miinawaa daga.
So the story goes. Thank you for listening to me today, for letting me tell you this sacred love story. Please come see me again!
Read the first episode of the series Love Stories From the Land of Many Lakes: Waabizheshi and the Mermaid.