Total pageviews

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teachings Of The Eagle Feather, Part 1

"Growth Is A Mystery"

- Updated: May 19, 2022

Niigiwin manidoowan trouwringen wedding bands

A Sacred Love Story

Boozhoo, hello! I consider it an honor to be able to share with you the love story of these wedding rings, which I made of 14K white gold. The ladies' ring features a beautiful natural emerald stone cut in a marquise brilliant shape and set in 14K yellow gold. The rings tell a tale whose meaning, I believe, is deeply rooted in the collective memory and cultural consciousness of the people of my ancestors, the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg from the North American Great Lakes area.

It's not just a love story that I'd like to share with you; it's a SACRED love story, which I will tell again and again, in this blog and elsewhere, simply because it tells us so much about ourselves and where we came from.

Niigiwin Manidoowan

These elegant white gold relation rings are titled niigiwin manidoowan, which means “growth is a mystery” - lit.: “birth is a spirit.” Needless to say that the design of the rings tells a story of the physical and spiritual bond between two individuals, two lovers if you like. In a broader perspective however, the rings represent the organic commitment between a couple and the primary sources of life, our mother the earth and our father the sky. So, in a way, the combination of the symbol of the eagle feather and the color and shape of the green emerald (symbolizing growth) in the woman’s ring tells a story of the couple wearing the set...

The first Sound of Creation

The 0.24” X 0.12” marquise-cut emerald, mounted in a yellow gold bezel, symbolizes miinikaan (a seed); the precious stone stands, in color and form, for the fertile earth in springtime, when the seeds sprout forth from the earth and life returns to the land. It represents the bursting of the seed of affection in our heart for someone we love. It also epitomizes the first sound of creation, and the time of day we call morning. In addition, the stylized eagle feathers of white gold adorning both rings suggest the omnipresence of the sky and the light of the eastern direction and, in a metaphorical sense, something called manidoowiwin: the spiritual quality surrounding us in life.

Niigiwin manidoowan trouwringen wedding bands
Visit the website to view details of the ring set.

Earth's Medicine 

All these entities, earth and sky, birth and rebirth, the magical connection between the material and the immaterial and between fertility and the light of day, come together in the ring design and represent the deep and organic love that two people are capable of feeling for each other.

Manidoowi miinikaanense.
Niigiwin manidoowin.
Miinikaanense w'da-gikinaawajinowaan abinoojiin.
Miinikaanense manidoowi, w'da-mashki-akiiwi.

"The small seed is a mystery.
Birth is a mystery.
The small seed symbolizes a child.
The small seed is mystical, it will heal like earth's medicine."

- Ritual words of thanksgiving of the Waabanoowiwin, Anishinaabe Society of Dawn


See the website to view details of the above wedding ring set.

Read the second episode in the Teachings of the Eagle Feather series: A Prayer to the North.

> Send me an email if you wish to be notified when a new blog story is published.


About me and my sources of inspiration:

My name is Zhaawano Giizhik. As an American artist and jewelry designer currently living in the Netherlands, I like to draw on the oral and pictorial traditions of my Ojibwe Anishinaabe ancestors from the American Great Lakes area. For this I call on my manidoo-minjimandamowin, or 'Spirit Memory'; which means I try to remember the knowledge and the lessons of my ancestors.

The MAZINAAJIMOWINAN or ‘pictorial spirit writings’- which are rich with  symbolism and have been painted throughout history on rocks and etched on other sacred items such as copper and slate, birch bark, and animal hide - were a form of spiritual as well as educational communication that gave structure and meaning to the cosmos. 

Many of these sacred pictographs or petroforms – some of which are many, many  generations old - hide in sacred locations where the manidoog (spirits) reside, particularly in those mystic places near the coastline where the sky, the earth, the water, the underground, and the underwater meet.

It is these age-old expressions that provide an endless supply of story elements to my work  be it graphically, through my written stories, as well as in the context of my jewelry making. 

No comments:

Post a Comment