Aaniin, Boozhoo, hello,
I am a status third generation Ojibwe or Anishinaabe Indian living in Victoria Harbour, Ontario Canada. My grandmother was born and lived on what was then White Fish Lake Reserve just south of Sudbury Ontario. The reserve has since been renamed Atikameksheng Anishnawbek.
The work I do starts with an inspiration. That inspiration can be a feather I find, something someone says or does, or just sitting in nature alone and seeing a bird fly overhead or a fisher run across the field. Once the inspiration is there, it becomes a story that I write as I place each bead, piece of leather or feather on the piece. My story is never complete until the final feather is placed on the hanging. Some of my work has taken 14 straight hours to complete and I find I can’t stop until every bead and every feather is chosen and placed where the story leads me to place it. I seldom write the story on paper because I believe once I hand the piece off to its new owner, the story becomes theirs and as a result, my story no longer exists as a new story is written when it is hung in their home.
I am a Christian so much of my work, while using native symbolism, such as the colours of the medicine wheel, has a Christian story or twist to it. Where that goes when the piece is hanging in the new owners home depends on where they are in their Spiritual journey. It is my hope that God or in Native terms, the Creator or Great Spirit touches them in some way.
I would ask that individuals wishing to purchase my work will give me some idea as to what a piece of my work might mean to them so the inspiration to create or write the story is given. From there, each piece is individually crafted with the inspiration in mind and the hope that the story I am writing based on the inspiration will become yours when you receive it. I am willing to put my story on paper for those that request it but prefer you let the piece speak to you. An explanation will accompany the piece and the Ojibwe cross does come with the story behind its creation and its meaning.
Meegwech, thank you!
Paul Cummings (LB Native Creations)