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Monday, March 17, 2014

Teachings of the Eagle Feather, part 9

"Both Sides Of The Sky"


Men's ring set with turquoise and red coral designed and handcrafted by Zhaawano Giizhik



Today's blog story features a sterling silver men's ring that I crafted a long time ago. It is mounted with two hand-cut, bezel-set freeform Kingman turquoise stones and a pear-shaped red coral cabochon.

It is my personal ring and I titled it EDAWIGIIZHIG ("BOTH SIDES OF THE SKY").

The design of the ring is inspired on a dream I had years ago, I must have been in my twenties. I was up in the dazzling blue sky when I became aware of a sky region behind it which seemed an even more dazzling blue. 

The black tipped silver eagle feather dividing the two turquoise stones symbolizes the dream. The eagle feathers adorning the ring's sides represent a revolving sky; the circular motion with which I seemed to move around the dream sky. The red coral cabochon placed beneath the eagle feather and the flowers that I stamped on the sides of the ring shank curvature stand for the earth that moved beneath me during the dream.

Since the design relates to this dream I decided to wear the ring myself; I've been wearing it for the last 23 years or so.


"A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky". 

Tȟašúŋke Witkó (His Horse Is Crazy, Oglala Lakota War Leader, ca. 1840-1877)




I can feel it now
deep in my heart
winter camps stirring
for it is the start

The birth of dreams
beginning to bloom
time to wake up
from winter’s gloom

Spreading wide wings
we can all now fly
with an eagle's heart
into clear blue sky

Taking our place
on distant shores
to pray for our mother
as she shares more

Giving thanks for life
from earth and sky
honoring our helpers
never asking why

To know too much
is too heavy a load
just trust yourself
as you walk the road...

- Simone McLeod, March 8, 2014


>Click here to read the next episode of our “Teachings of the Eagle Feather" series.

>Return to the blog overview page. 

Jewelry photography by ZhaawanArt Fisher Star Creations. 
Poem by Simone McLeod.


Aki-egwaniizid miinawaa Zhaawano Giizhik/Wenoondaagoziwid Webaashi


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. She belongs to the Name doodem (Sturgeon clan) of the ᓇᐦᑲᐌ (Nakawē-Ojibwe Anishinaabeg). 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 Baawitigong (Sault Ste. Marie, Upper Michigan) is Waabizheshi, Marten. As an artist, a writer, and a designer of  jewelry and wedding rings, 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.

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