Teachings of the Eagle Feather, Part 18

"The Silent Spirit of Dawn"

Miin-giizis (Blueberry Moon; July 23), 2018

Sorry, we're still working on the story. Please come back later.

Waabanong onji-maajitaan babaandawaabiiyan. Mii’iwedi waabanong baa’onjishkaag bimaadiziwin…..Endaso giizhik ishpendamowin biionji-ombakone waabanong. Gaawiinina gidishpendanzii bimooko’ag gimishoomisinaan? Gaawiin ina giibiidamanjitoonsiin nawajgegoo ishpendaagwak. Na’endan gidinaamaagenimoyan gaye agaasenimoyan. Nawaj jina’endaman epiitenimoyan.

"Begin your journey in the spring, in the east. East is where all life begins…..Every day, the beauty and power of creation are ignited in the east. Are you not humbled by the strength and brilliance of the rising sun? Can you not sense that there is something much stronger than you out there? Accept how small and insignificant you are. For the betterment of yourself and all Creation, strive to be humble.”

-  A Seven Grandfathers teaching about the East and the virtue of humbleness.

Gigizheb Anamewin Morning Prayer pen and ink drawing by Zhaawano Giizhik

Our Relatives to the East

Boozhooaaniin, hello,

I am Zhaawano Giizhik. This blog story is the eighteenth already in a series titled Teachings Of The Eagle Feather, featuring my works of art, sporadically along with those of kindred artists. Both my stories and my artworks seek to provide an insight into the unique izhinamowin (world view) of the Anishinaabe Peoples. 

Today's story is the story of Waaban, the Spirit of the the East and the Dawn. The story is woven around a graphic illustration that I drew as a young teenager, titled Gigizheb Anamewin (Morning Prayer); see the image to te left. Today's story also features a set of white gold wedding rings that I created at my workbench a few days ago. The set, which features inlaid eagle feathers, is titled Oshkiwaaseyaaban. This is an Ojibwe word meaning First Light of Dawn.

The title of the set, the sleekly modeled eagle feathers, a well as the color of the bands symbolically reflect the age-old, sacred worldview of the Anishinaabeg Peoples of Turtle Island.  

Gete-ayaa’ag, our ancestors, tended to interpret and respect the countless phenomena, forms, and forces of the world they lived in a cosmological context. They saw the world as one gigantic sacred web of social relations, an extended family where the relationship between humans and the nonhuman and spirit world was one of continuous interfusion and reciprocal exchange. All life forms were considered animated and inter-related “persons” - often addressed as gidinawemaaganinaanig (literally, “our relatives”) -, each possessing a consciousness, rationale, and a will of their own.

All these indinawemaaganag or “next of kin persons” were often described as gakina gegoo, “everyone and everything” or “all living things” (pronounced gu-ki-nu gay-goo). These relations included the manidoog ajiwekamig (pronounced mah-nih-DOOG ah-gee-WEH-kah-mik), or the spirits that live in all corners of the Universe; even those that seemed to be more remote to mankind.