Monday, August 22, 2011

Spiritually Inspired Jewellery by Zhaawano Giizhik (Part V)

"Imaginative mind is like an endless sky"

"Knowledge on the Road of Life/Doodem of Learning"
~ white & yellow gold, silver, turquoise and red coral set of bracelet and ear jewelry, © Zhaawano Giizhik /Click on image to Enlarge/

Divided over five elegantly curved white gold wires, the goldsmith fastened four moveable (!) ornaments of precious metals and stones – to be placed in any desired position along the wires. The wires symbolize the five main ODOODEMAN (animal totems) of the Anishinaabe Peoples: Ajiijaak (Crane), Makwa (bear), Waabizhesh (Marten), Maanameg (Catfish), and Mikinaak (Snapping Turtle). These (archaic) totems denote the five needs of the People and the five elementary functions of society: respectively LEADERSHIP, DEFENSE, SUSTENANCE, MEDICINE, LEARNING, and MEDICINE.

The four moveable elements of the necklace, a gold eagle feather, a stylized fish head and tail of white gold and silver and a turquoise stone set in gold, pertain to the central concept of the design: the stages of life that we humans must pass through from birth to death. The elements also relate to the various phases of LEARNING: the human cognitive process and the transfer of knowledge and know-how.

The aayaanikaaj mishoomisag, the Anishinaabe fathers of olden times, who loved the sight of the flashing of silvered tails in shiny lakes and rushing streams, chose the silent spirit of GIIGOO (fish) to be emblematic of teaching. Particularly awaazisii (bullhead) and maanameg (catfish) represented the noble arts of knowledge and science. In honor of the concept of learning, the goldsmith adorned the fish head ornament of the necklace with an eye of turquoise; the two post-back earrings – which the photographer placed on the wires of the necklace – are watching the world through eyes of red coral.

The teachings of MIDEWIWIN, the Lodge of Medicine and Ethics of the Anishinaabe People, tell us that each person has a path to follow, called The True Path of Life, a capricious trail with many digressions (dangers and temptations) traveling over four “hills”: infancy, youth, adulthood, old age. He or she who managed to live out life in all its stages was to receive and possess nature’s greatest gift: MINO BIMAADIZIWIN. Traditionally, MINO-BIMAADIZIWIN, ‘to live a good way of life’, has always been the central goal for the Anishinaabeg.

The concept of MINO BIMAADIZIWIN the goldsmith depicted by means of the asymmetrically cut turquoise stone, accentuated by a setting of 14K yellow and red gold and sterling silver. The rough surface and the black-veined matrix of the turquoise, along with the sharp and irregular corners of the setting symbolize the many dangers, disasters, and perils along life’s path.

Finally, the stylized 14K gold eagle feather that the goldsmith fastened at the left side of the collar necklace, pertains to ninjichaag bimisewin or ‘Spirit Flight’: the spiritual journeys the human mind is capable of - a special and often elusive dimension in our existence. A state of wisdom and knowledge can only be reached by inner spiritual growth and enhancement of consciousness. According to the lessons of aayaanikaaj mishoomisag, the Anishinaabe forefathers, no man begins to be until he has received his vision…

Zhaawano Giizhik

Source: (Facebook)
              /Used with permission/

>>> Reference links:
~ Zhaawano Giizhik's Website,
~ Zhaawano Giizhik's Blog &
~ Zhaawano Giizhik's Twitter..


>>> Reference posts:
- Spiritually Inspired Jewellery by Zhaawano Giizhik (Part I),
- Spiritually Inspired Jewellery by Zhaawano Giizhik (Part II),

- Spiritually Inspired Jewellery by Zhaawano Giizhik (Part III) &
- Spiritually Inspired Jewellery by Zhaawano Giizhik (Part IV).-

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