Set of bracelet and matching pendant: Life in the Bosom of the Earth

Native American turquoise and silver set of matching pendant and bracelet

Life in the Bosom of the Earth

Title: Akiiwin Mizakamig / Miigiwin Miinawaa Aanji-niigiwin (Life in the Bosom of the Earth: Birth and Regeneration)
Artist: Zhaawano Giiizhik  
Type: Matching set of sterling silver clamp-on cuff bracelet and pendant featuring slightly domed oval-shaped heads set with turquoise stone shadowbox settings

Materials: Sterling silver, hand-cut stabilized turquoise stones
0.6 x 1 in / 1.5 x 2.5 cm (bracelet); 0.6 x 1.2 in / 1.5 x 3 cm (pendant; excluding leaf and pendant connector)
Item numbers: JEWELRYSET-4 (Set of bracelet and pendant)
                         JEWELRYSET-4-BR (Bracelet)
                         JEWELRYSET-4-PD (Pendant)



Prices: From  1,343.00 USD* / 1,721.00 CAD*/ 1.190,00 EUR** (JEWELRYSET-4)
From  918.00 USD* / 1,177.00 CAD*/ 900,00 EUR** (JEWELRYSET-4-BR)
            From  382.00 USD* / 490.00 CAD*/ 325,00 EUR** (JEWELRYSET-4-PD)


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

*Please do not forget to mention the item number of the piece or pieces you're interested in.

Photo detail of the set of bracelet and pendant

What is a shadowbox setting?


The turquoise stones in the pendant as well as the bracelet are mounted in settings called shadowbox; this dramatic style - originally a Dineh (Navajo) silversmithing way of stonesetting - is characterized by deep, darkened recesses set with “floating” stones in high bezels.

In the case of this jewelry set, a high bezel for holding the turquoise cabochon is soldered inside a large oval shadowbox frame that I - with the aid of a jeweler's saw - cut out of the slightly domed pendant and bracelet head. I made the bezel of a slightly smaller size than the shadow box it has to fit into. This consequently leaves a rather narrow “trough” around the bezel. Then the “trough” becomes oxidized in order to highlight the raised bezel, and the  shadowbox design is completed.

The way I see it, this set, which I carefully handwrought of sterling silver, has a design that is both quintessentially Native American and absolutely modern and provides testimony to the pride I take in my ancestry.

Above all, the story behind the bracelet and pendant celebrates the beauty and wisdom of the world of my Ojibwe Anishinaabe ancestors, which will always be my main artistic inspiration and design source. 



A promise of life and regeneration

This set of matching bracelet and pendant, titled "In The Bosom Of The Earth", belongs to a shadowbox jewelry series named Birth And Regeneration. The highly polished design and the theme of the unique set – note how the turquoise stones are mounted in shadowbox settings; this style is characterized by deep, darkened recesses set with “floating” stones in high bezels - do not just bear witness of the partially Native American background of jeweler Zhaawano; they're particularly inspired by the ancient teachings of the Midewiwin, the Society of Medicine and Ethics of his own ancestors, the Anishinaabe Peoples.

The Mide teachings dictate that each person has a path to follow, called The True Path of Life, a journey-through-life that every human being must follow, from their prenatal state to old age and death/passing on. By living through all the stages and living out the visions, a person gains wisdom, which he/she must pass on to those still to walk the path of life.

The oval turquoise cabochons in the shadowboxes (the oxidized, oval interior segments around the stone bezels) in both bracelet and pendant represent a seed inside a pregnant woman's womb - or a baby inside the mother's womb, in which it is conceived and nourished while developing before birth. The stones, therefore, hold a promise of life and regeneration.

The stylized leaf of an aagimaak (ash tree) with a turquoise cabochon mounted on the tip that the jeweler attached to the pendant represents growth and decay, and, in a deeper sense, the cycle and infinity of life. The four round hand-hammered wires supporting the head of the bracelet as well as the quadripartite pendant connector symbolize the cardinal directions of the Universe; the balls constructed at the ends of the bracelet wires represent the sun and the moon, the first grandfather and grandmother of all Life on earth.

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