Everlasting Fire of Life

Anishinaabe squash blossom set of necklace and earrings
Navajo squash blossom necklace with an Ojibwe anishinaabe theme

Title: Gaagige Bimaadiziwin-shkode (Everlasting Fire Of Life)
Type: Ojibwe-style squash blossom necklace and matching post-back earrings
Materials
Sterling silver, turquoise, red coral
Price necklace: 3,410 CAD* /3,090 USD*/2.500 EUR**
Price earrings:
410 CAD* /370 USD*/325 EUR** per set
Item number: JEWELRY-1-15

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*Shipping costs included, US and Canadian tax rates excluded.

**Shipping costs excluded, Dutch BTW included.

Please note that persons who hold a Canadian First Nations status card and live and work on their reserve are generally tax exempt.

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The Heart-shaped Path Of The People


This set, the necklace being an elegantly stylized variant on the classic Dine' (Navajo) squash blossom necklace, tells the story of a more than thousand years old prophecy that led to the legendary odyssey of my Native ancestors, the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg.

The migration path of the People, who originally lived along the northern shores of the Atlantic and at some point in history had been advised by Seven Grandfathers (prophets) - who were instructed by six Mystery Beings who had appeared from the ocean to teach the Grandfathers about the Mide way of life  - to leave their home country and expand westward, would be marked by Seven Fires. To this day, the - possibly 2000 to 2500 years lasting- migration of the Anishinaabeg is known as niizhwaaso-ishkoden niigaanaajimowinthe Prophecy of the Seven Fires.

The theme of this jewelry set particularly relates to eko-nishwaaching, the Eight Fire. The eight fire, which is a term arising from the Mide teachings of the Seven Fires,  is used here as a metaphor for the importance of a spiritual attitude to life, mutual respect  for one another and a reciprocal exchange between all  life forms, corporeal as well as incorporeal. Hence the title: “Everlasting Fire Of Life”.

The Prophecy of the Seven Fires, an sacred as well as educative teaching that has been passed on for more than thousand years by many generations of Mide practitioners (members of the Midewiwin society), not only refers to the westward migration of the Anishinaabe People, but also, more particularly, to certain phases or eras  in the history of the original peoples of Turtle Island (North America).

This universal teaching, which contains seven essential spiritual lessons to the world, stresses mino-bimaadiziwin: the importance of living a good and honest way of life with an open eye for  other people and nature around us and – placed in a bigger context  – the vision that all people and races must come together on the basis of shared dignity and mutual respect. The Seven Fires remind us that the only way humankind can survive and save the planet from social and ecological destruction is  by renouncing materialism and choosing a path that is truly spiritual. “Only then, if the people of all colors and faith choose the right path, a path of respect, wisdom, and spirituality, will the Seventh fire light the Last Fire, an eternal fire of peace, which will unfold an era of spiritual illumination…”

 

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Native American pendant Fire Of Life

The traditional Mide people of the Ojibweg along with other Algonquin-speaking Nations speak of “two roads”: a road to technology and the road to the spiritual. The thought behind this idea is that even though you are spiritual you still may not be walking on the right path; of course the question that could emerge -  if the road of technology that should lead us to greater development actually leads to destruction -, is one that remains open for discussion.

The legendary migration of my distant ancestors and the age-old Midewiwin concept of the Seven Fires are represented by seven oval turquoise stones, each adorned with a crown of seven pear-shaped red corals (which substitute the blossoms of a traditional squash blossom necklace); the silver eagle feathers that I mounted on the double row of silver beads, symbolize spiritualitycourage, and vision.

The pendant of the Fire Of Life Necklace - which substitutes the ‘naja of a traditional squash blossom necklace - symbolizes the Eight Fire. The ovally shaped turquoise stone refers to physical unity and spiritual strength of the People as a whole; the pear-shaped red corals – some  twenty in total – adjusted around the turquoise stone symbolize the historical journey of the People – and, viewed in a broader context, the Life Fire that burns in all human beings.

In the photo at the top of the page, the eight fires appear to form a heart-shaped path.