Total pageviews

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Teachings of the Eagle Feather, part 35: Spirit of the War Eagle


"Spirit of the War Eagle"

April 9, 2022


Ojibwe Spirit of Giniw the Golden War Eagle wedding rings



Aaw! Gaa-giniwaash Gebegwaneyaash
Dibishkoo zegaanakwak ziigwang Nindaagawaateshkamaw, nindaagawaateshkamaw
Naanzhakii-manidoobines Gaa-minotaagozid
Omiigwaanse, omiigwaanse
Bamishi giizhigoong, bamishi giizhigoong
Dibishkoo waasamoowin.
Omashkikiim, omashkikiim
Ozaawaa-zhooniyaawaande, ozaawinaagozi.
Aaw! Mishi-giniw
Aaw! Gaa-mishiginiwaash
Gaawiin ninzigisi
Gaawiin ninzigisi.
Oh, Black-headed Eagle Flying
Who Is Feathered All The Way Flying
Like a storm cloud in spring
He overshadows me, she overshadows me.
Flying Down Spirit Bird Who Makes A Pleasant Sound
His feather, her feather
Is flying through the sky, is flying through the sky
Like the speed of lightning.
He has black wings,
She has black wings,
His medicine, her medicine
Is colored brown, appears to be gold.
Oh, Mighty Black-headed Bird
Oh, Mighty War Eagle Flying
I am not afraid
I am not afraid.


Giniw Golden Eagle


Aaniin, boozhoo gakina awiiya ge gidagindaanaawaa igwa. Biindigen! Hello everyone who reads this. Welcome! Today’s story is woven around a set of silver wedding rings created at my workbench. The title of the ring set, Giniw Manidoo, is Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) for “Golden Eagle Spirit.”
The ring set depicts the geometrically stylized tail feathers of a golden eagle; the Anishinaabe ancestors called this eagle species alternately war eagle and black-headed eagle. The overlay design is reminiscent of the graphical, minimalist style of the Hopi potters from Arizona - which goes back many centuries - and also of their jewelry-making style, which originated in the 1950s.
To the Hopi, as well as to the Anishinaabeg and all other First peoples of Turtle Island, the feathers of the war eagle represent courage and great inner power. To our ancestors, Gimishoomisinaan Giniw, our Golden Eagle Grandfather, was the protector of Ziigwan, the Springtime Spirit. Traditionally he is the one who watches over all women, particularly those who are in new beginnings.
The abstract feather design of the wedding rings symbolizes the physical as well as spiritual unity of the couple that vows to walk the path of life together. This, along with the distinct, rather dramatic contrast caused by oxidation of the cut-out recesses of the rings, emphasizes the powerful character of the eagle feather symbol, at the same time suggesting a certain inner harmony that beautifully reflects the sacred character of marriage...

Nahaaw. Mii sa ekoozid. Miigwech, giga-waabamin wayiiba: Well, that is the end of today's teaching. Thank you and I hope to see you again soon...



My name is Zhaawano Giizhik. My clan is waabizheshi, the marten.

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