"The Flower and the Star"
A story told and illustrated by Simone McLeod and Zhaawano Giizhik
It is a collection of love stories written and provided with jewelry images and illustrations of paintings and drawings by our hands. The stories are based on aadizookaanan (traditional stories) of our People, the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg of Gaa-zaaga'iganikaag, the land of many lakes - the Great Lakes area of Mikinaakominis (Turtle Island; 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 in the form of a frame story, in this case a metaphoric tale of a traditional, sacred nature placed within a larger story that has also embedded in it some autobiographical elements.
A metaphorical tale of lasting friendship
The Story Of Earth Flower
Aki-waabigwan was not so much occupied with the same things the other young women her age were interested in. She spent most of her time roaming the hills and playing with butterflies in the valleys. She kept herself very busy going on adventures and learning new things and making new friends. She was very curious about the world around her. This is what made her truly happy. However, she was not only known among her People for her playfulness and her good nature; she also possessed an extraordinarily artistic talent.
|A protosketch for Simone's painting The Flower And The Star, pen and ink drawing by Zhaawano Giizhik, 2013|
A Ladder to the Sky
Many, many left on Jibay-miikana, the path of souls...
|See our website for details of this wristwatch cuff bracelet.|
"Be like the flower in the story, noozis"
From that time on she passionately expressed her individual dreams and heartbreak, transforming it into works of incredible beauty and she gained wide and legendary recognition among her People and far beyond as one who creates healing art for the benefit of individuals as well as for the Nation - enh, for all Nations - as a whole. All of her works of art, initially inspired by the sad story of the Flower and the Star, became stories of hope, strength, and determination and until today her proud artistic legacy shines like the Fisher star above.
Click here to read the fifth episode in the series "Love stories from the Land of Many Lakes":"Wiinabozho and the Roses."
Simone McLeod (her traditional name is Aki’-egwaniizid, which is an Ojibwe name meaning "Earth Blanket") is an Anishinaabe painter and poet, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1962 and a member of Pasqua First Nation in Saskatchewan. She belongs to he Name doodem (Sturgeon clan) of her mother's people, the Azaadiwi-ziibi Nitam-Anishinaabeg (Poplar River First Nation) of Manitoba. Simone descends from a long line of Midewiwin seers and healers and artists. Her artwork has been appreciated by several art collectors and educational and health care institutions from Canada, as well as by art lovers from all over the world.
Zhaawano Giizhik, an American currently living in the Netherlands, was born in 1959 in North Carolina, USA. Zhaawano has Anishinaabe blood running through his veins, the doodem of his ancestors from Baawiting (Sault Ste. Marie, Upper Michigan) is Waabizheshi, Marten. As an artist and a writer and a jewelry designer, Zhaawano draws on the oral and pictorial traditions of his ancestors. In doing so he sometimes works together with kindred artists. He has done several art projects with Simone and hopes to continue to do so in the future.
Jewelry and jewelry photography by Zhaawano Giizhik.
- Bimaabiig Aadizookaan (Sacred Story Of The Climbing Vine). Massive sterling silver Ojibwe floral design clamp-on wrist-watch cuff band set with stone and red coral cabochons. For details, go to our website.
Painting, acrylic on canvas by Simone McLeod: Waabigwan Miinawaa Anang (The Flower And The Star) 22"x60", 2014. For details, go to our website.
Proto-sketch of the painting the Flower And The Star, pen and ink drawing by Zhaawano Giizhik (2013).