Native symbols

Dreamcatcher
As the legend goes, the Dream catcher was used by the Woodland Indians and was hung in the lodge (near the bedroom window). Its use was to catch all dreams, good or bad. The bad dreams would get caught up in the webbing and be held there till first morning light, then burned off. Now, the good dreams were caught, and knowing their way to the hole in the centre, would filter down into the feathers and be held there, only to return another night, to be dreamed.

Dreamcatcher

Medicine Wheel
The Medicine Wheel is used by the Woodland Indians of the Great Lakes. It is wrapped with deerhide. It is made round to represent the Circle of Life. We tie a cross in the centre to represent the four directions, the four winds, the four seasons and the four grandfathers (or teachers). Traditionelly, they are made with eagle feathers which, being sacred to us are not sold. Therefore, other feathers are used in their place. The four colors of life and the four seasons are used in the form of beads.

medicine wheel

Medicine Bag
A medicine bag is a traditional North American Aboriginal/Native container for various items of supernatural power. While anyone may have one, usually it would be the medicine man, or shaman, of a tribe who would carry one. As something that holds supernatural items, the medicine bag must also have some power of its own. They most often held things such as animal furs, special stones, or anything that meant something to the owner. No person, apart from the owner, was allowed to look inside this bag. When the owner died, they were buried with it.

medicine bags

Inukshuk
Een inukshuk is een opeenstapeling van stenen in de vorm van een persoon die de weg wijst. Een Inukshuk werd vroeger in Canada gebruikt om de mensen de weg te wijzen zodat ze uit het aanbod van vele richtingen en mogelijkheden niet de verkeerde route of richting zouden nemen.Het woord “inukshuk” stamt uit de taal van de Inuit of ook wel Eskimo’s genoemd. De Inuit maken inukshuks voor verschillende doelen: om de richting aan te geven voor reizigers, te waarschuwen voor aankomend gevaar, als een gedenkteken of om te helpen bij de jacht op caribou-herten.De inukshuk staat symbool voor de kracht, leiderschap en motivatie van de Inuit indianen die in een van de meest vijandige gebieden ter wereld overleven.

INUKSHUK

Friendship feather
In the Native culture the giving of an eagle feather is very sacred. The eagle is a fierce protector and represents the link between the creator and the people, delivering all messages and prayers. This beautifull handcrafted friendship feather was designed with this sacred tradition in mind. In giving this to another you are showing you honour friendship just as the native people honour the eagle

Friendship feather

The Smudge Feather
The smudge feather is used to carry the smoke from an offering of sage, sweetgrass, tobacco or cedar to the Creator in thanksgiving for all He has given us. The feather is also used to fan the smoke upon our selves to cleanse and purity our mind, body, soul and spirit.

smudge feather

The Smudging Ceremony
Native people use herbs in a sacred manner to be helped into the sacred realm. One ceremony is to burn certain herbs, take the smoke in one’s hands and rub it over the body. This is called smudging and in Western North America three plants are used : sage, cedar and sweetgrass. Sage ; is burned in smudging ceremonies to drive out ill feelings or influences, protectng the place of ceremony. Cedar ; is burned for the purpose of cleansing and while praying either aloud or silently. The prayers rise on the cedar smoke on their way to the creator. Sweetgrass ; is one of the most sacred plants to the Plains Indians. It is frequently burned after either sage or cedar to bring in positive influences and energies.

Foto smudging ceremonie

Sweetgrass 
Sweetgrass is one of the main herbs used by Native people. It is often part of the medicine used when smudging along with sage and cedar. Sweetgrass represents positivity, strength, connection to the Creator and all our relations. It represents the Mother, our mother, Mother Earth. It is our connection to the land, to what is around us. Its smell when burned dry is a sweet smell, reminiscent of our ancestors. When fresh, its smell is one of grass (a faint one). It smells fresh, it smells like comfort and home. When braided, sweetgrass can represent a few different concepts. In the Cree-Ojibway culture, for example, the three braids of the sweetgrass can represent love, peace and harmony or mind, body and spirit.

sweetgrass

The Peace Pipe
The use of the Peace Pipe is sacred and sovereign act to the Native people. It is believed to be “the key to the other world”. As the smoke rises to the heavens as an offering, the creator bestows a blessing upon the people.

Peace pipe

Tree of Peace/Life
The Tree of Peace is a symbol of peace in the Iroquis culture. The Tree of Peace is an important symbol of peace in Iroquois tradition and in the historical record of diplomacy between the Iroquois and Westerners. Weapons would be buried under a tree to seal a peace agreement. A tree might even be uprooted to create a cavity for the weapons. The replanted tree on top would become a tree of peace.

The tree of life motif is present in the traditional Ojibway cosmology and traditions. It is sometimes described as Grandmother Cedar, or Nookomis Giizhig in Anishinaabemowin.

Tree of peace