The Origin of the Three Fires Conderacy
Title: Niswii-mishkodewin Manidoo (Spirit of the Three Fires)
Type: Eagle feather chain necklace
Materials: 14K yellow gold, lapis lazuli, red coral, blue sapphire
Price: 3,665.00 CAD* /2,800.00 USD*/ 3.100,00 EUR**
Item number: JEWELRY-1-24
*Shipping costs included, US and Canadian tax rates excluded.
**Shipping costs excluded, Dutch BTW included.
> Visit Zhaawano's art blog to read about the origin and meaning of the Three Fires Confederacy and the Three Fires Lodge
> Click here to view a necklace with a similar theme
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This elegant eagle feather chain necklace design is infused with my love for the rich oral history of my ancestors, the Gishigamiin Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) who lived in the heart of the North American Great Lakes. Its subject matter symbolically interweaves the history of the three Fires with two old Anishinaabe legacies: the legendary trek of the People that started 3000 years ago at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean leading them to the Great Lakes region (which they probably reached prior to 800 C.E.), and a prodigious tale of the legendary emergence, not long after their arrival in the southern Great Lakes region, of five Mystery Beings from the waves of Mishigami, or Lake Michigan.
The teachings of these Mystery Beings resulted in a new society framework, and were ultimately followed by a historical alliance called Three Fires Confederacy, formed by three large southeastern bands that had emerged from the nation of the Anishinaabeg: the Ojibweg, the Odaawaag, and the Bodéwadmik.
The three combined gold feathers of the pendant and the “crown” of three pear-shaped red corals placed right above the pendant symbolize the founding of the Three Fires, and, along with it, the recent revival of the ancient Midewiwin Lodge that bears the same name. The deep red color of the three red coral beads adorning the upper part of the pendant's feather shafts represent the Sacred Ancestral Council Fire of the Anishinaabeg as well as the blood kinship and survival strength that binds them as a People. In a deeper, spiritual, sense, the tripartiteness of both designs represents a sincere heart, mind, and spirit and the seeking of spiritual truth, knowledge, and healing in life; values that are quintessential to mino-bimaadiziwin, the Way of a Good Life, based on the Midewiwin philosophy of how to live life in an honest and wholesome way.
The sparkling blue sapphire gemstone stone integrated in the red coral “crown” design symbolizes Mishigami (Lake Michigan); the five lapis lazuli flat cut nuggets placed on both sides of the crown design represent the five aadizoogaanag, or Mystery Beings emerging from its blue waters, teaching the jeweler’s once divided ancestors how to create and maintain a vast net of kinship that would forever cement the different groups together. The Teachings of these five prophets from the lake, which preceded the founding of the Three Fires Confederacy, prompted the Anishinaabeg to form five odoodeman or totemic clans, and the members of each individual doodem started to identify themselves with a common animal progenitor – either a crane, a bear, a marten, a loon, or a catfish. The lapis lazuli stones, therefore, symbolize the close kinship that began to exist among the different groups of the Anishinaabeg, their sense of oneness based not so much on politics, economics, or religion, but - first and foremost - on their totemic symbols.
In conclusion, the eight chain parts consisting of stylized eagle feathers that make up the necklace refer to Niizhwaaso-ishkoden (the Seven Fires), a prophecy that stems from a time long ago when the Anishinaabeg still lived in the Dawn Land and that marks phases, or epochs, in their history and lives. The feathers symbolize the legendary migration journey marked by Seven Fires that brought the Anishinaabeg from the northern shores of the Dawn Land (which bordered the Atlantic Ocean) to the Great Lakes; the eight feather, a concept that in recent years became integrated in the original Seven Fires Prophecy, symbolizes the lighting of a new fire, called Eko-nishwaaching (the Eight Fire). This eight fire reflects back to a better time, when the Anishinaabeg still lived in accordance to the Seven Grandfather Teachings that the Great Mystery gave to the People so that they would abide by the laws of nature and move as one…