11 / 01 / 2016
Probably one of my favourite things about my First Nations, specifically Anishinaabe, culture is the gorgeous beading, jewelry and art we create. It’s long been a hobby of mine to troll craft fairs to hunt for little creations that I proudly wear! Taking a look at the photo above, its pretty obvious that most of them are earrings, but what can I say except I AM OBSESSED and unashamed!
These little dainties were a Christmas ’14 gift from my dad. I love the faux turquoise drop gems hung in the middle of the vibrant glass beads. These are the earrings worn in my blog profile photo!
What I deeply, sincerely appreciate is that all of these pieces are authentically created by First Nation artisans from all over Northern Ontario. Most of these are made by women who were taught how to bead by their mothers and grandmothers who were also taught by the women before them! They are also inspired by culturally significant items and symbols such as the feather and the circle and made by traditional materials of bone, shell and moose hide. More modern materials such as glass, plastic and woven cloth have also been thoughtfully incorporated into the pieces.
2/3 of these stunners were made by a couple of my friends. I bought the top pink/turquoise earrings from a work friend while the pretty yellow ones were a birthday present from one of my best friends, and the cream-coloured glass bead earrings were a craft fair find. The colour detailing of this cream pair (red, black, yellow and white) are culturally significant to my people as they not only represent the human race, but the four directions and the most important plants and teachings of the Medicine Wheel.
This pair of dreamcatcher earrings came from a work conference last winter. These have to be my most-worn type of earring and I have gone through multiple pairs in my life! As a child, I slept with a dreamcatcher hung over my bed. They are said to catch the bad dreams from disturbing sleep while the good dreams pass through the middle of the intricately woven hoop and into the heads of those in sleepy states.
This Pendleton fabric pouch is one of my favourite items. I love the colours of this bag and the hand-made quality of the antler-bone and moose hide string details. I need more Pendleton in life and this bag is just the start! My goal? A handmade coat!
This however, is my absolute FAVOURITE! I love everything about this cardholder. The colours of the delica glass beads are so my style and the design is just so sweet! This is an item I hope to have forever!
And there you have it! This is just a taste of the beautiful arts and crafts of the Anishinaabe people in Canada. I am proud to be apart of the culture and although I am not the best at creating them myself, I would love to become an expert one day too! Until then, I will keep collecting and cherishing the gorgeous designs with fervour <3