The Way of the Heartbeat, part 8: The Power of Sound
Updated: May 20
Iskigamizige-giizis (Sugarbushing Moon)/Pokwaagami-giizis (Broken Snowshoe Moon); April 26, 2022
~~ WHAT'S IN A SPIRIT NAME? THE POWER OF SOUND ~~
I can't help but notice that a growing number of people express on language pages on Social Media their wonderment (and sometimes irritation) about others asking help in saying their spirit name in, for instance, Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibwe language).
Some joke about this, others criticize it. Still others advise to write down the name once received in ceremony, or given to them by an Elder, so it won't be forgotten. True, that definitely helps.
More important than writing the name down, is ask a fluent speaker (preferably an Elder) to pronounce it. Repeat the sounds in your head, but most importantly, in your heart. Do this often and do it with care. This will aid your memory and help you to UNDERSTAND your spirit name.
Nisidotaw we call it, recognizing/comprehending by sound/hearing.
Never underestimate the power of madwewewin, sound-making. Sounds are the core and essence of our language and our ceremonial practice, and therefore, of izhinamowin, our worldview. This is why the water drums are so important in our ceremonies.
> Read more about the topic of madwewe, or sound: Sound of the Mide Drum.
Illustration: Healing the Spirit, wall art print ©2022 Zhaawano Giizhik. Click here to view details.