"The Eagle and the Sun"
- Updated June 2, 2019
Today, I am pleased to introduce part 6 of a new blog series connecting the jewelry, paintings, and pencil drawings of my artistic partner Simone McLeod and myself with the Seven Grandfather teachings of the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg People.
This blog post, like most of the teaching stories that I write about, holds lessons that are based on Native American traditions, and in particular on the Midewaajimowinan and the Waabanowaajimowinan.
These teaching concepts from the Lodges of the Midewiwin and Waabanoowiwin of the Anishinaabeg Peoples are passed down from the sacred birch bark scrolls that for thousands of years have been kept safe by countless generations of Medicine People.
Today's blog story features images of a new set of wedding bands and a pencil drawing by myself as well as a beautiful romantic pen and ink drawing by my artistic friend and co-blog writer, Nakawē-Anishinaabe Medicine painter and poet, Simone McLeod.
Giizis, grandfather of all life
Giizis, the sun, is the symbol of GICHI-MANIDOO, the Great Mystery, and a spirit grandfather who guides all beings on Earth with his light and causes things to grow with his warmth. As he gives the gift of life once a day, it is renewed at dawn on the following day. The sun and the eagle have always had a close and powerful bond in some of these stories, and sometimes they were even seen as interchangeable spirit grandfathers.
Prayer carriers to the Great Mystery
|"Migizi the Bald Eagle", acrylic by Simone Mcleod/Aki-egwaniizid, 2014|
Sun Dance of the Plains Peoples
Eagle Warriors from the south
Flight to the sun
What Simone actually did was create a dream in pencil and paper that is obviously inspired by Anishinaabe tradition and the Greek mythology Simone was so fond of as a child.
©2013-2019 Simone McLeod
A sunlit path
Traditionally, Anishinaabe people have always been aware of an existence in the cosmos that vibrates with a sacred, creative energy. The sum of this cosmological energy, often called “Great Mystery,” finds its symbolic expression in Giizis the Sun, a sacred Sky Entity addressed to as NIMISHOOM, a "Grandfather," representing life and time in a linear as well as cyclic sense. It is this sacred existence that Zhaawano sought to express in these multicolor gold overlay wedding rings, which he titled MIGIZI MIINAWAA GIIZIS DAANGINIDIWAG (“Touched By The Sun,” or, literally: “The Eagle and the Sun, They Touch Each Other”).
|See the website for details of the above wedding ring set|
Catching the darkness up
I hear the eagle bird
Pulling the blanket back
From the East, sleeping still
How swift he flies,
Bearing the Sun to the morning
See how he perches there
In the trail of the Eastern sky."
Giiwenh. That´s how far this story goes. Miigwech for reading and listening!
>Click here to read the next episode in our Teachings of the Eagle Feather series.
>Return to the blog overview page.
About the authors/artists:
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 from Saskatchewan. She belongs to he Name doodem (Sturgeon clan). She feels special kinship with her mother's people, the Azaadiwi-ziibi Nitam-Anishinaabeg (Poplar River "#16" 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.