"Nibi, Source of Life"
Boozhoo! Biindigen miinawaa noongom giizhigak! Hello, welcome again to our art blog! Let's talk about water today.
Since the days when these Algonquian speaking immigrants first came to this region of bountiful freshwater lakes and islands and rivers and forests, its waters have nourished many generations of the People, physically as well as spiritually. Along with water, all kinds of fish species, turtle spirits, snakes, muskrats, water birds, merrmen and mermaids, underwater panthers as well as a myriad of other water creatures, play a central role in the traditional narrations and creation stories of the Anishinaabe Peoples.
By way of a new blog series called "REFLECTIONS OF THE GREAT LAKES", accompanied by pencil drawings, oil and acrylic paintings, and original works of jewelry, Simone and I aspire to capture, and pay homage to, the spirit and beauty and majesty of GICHIGAMIIN, the Great Seas of the Anishinaabe People. A natural resource of immense proportions once respected, revered and held sacred, yet nowadays unappreciated by many, its ecosystem largely being misused and abused by commercial fishery and timber companies, various international chemical corporations, and of course the tourist industry.
ONDA'INAAN (The Great Lakes, Source of Life)
Mishibizhiw is associated with the water realm, and revered by the Anishinaabeg and Cree as one who controls the moods of the Lake and a sometimes dangerous guard of rapids and swift or troubled waters. Like other manidoog, Mishibizhiw has the power to shapeshift into various animal forms. Mishibizhiw is said to aid those who seek to cross dangerous water, provided that a suitable offer is made.
Click here to read part 3 of our series about Nibi.
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