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Art Print

Bruce Stanfield (brucestanfield)

Thunderbird, Emblem of the Anishinaabe people

by Bruce Stanfield

Collect your choice of gallery quality Giclée, or fine art prints custom trimmed by hand in a variety of sizes with a white border for framing.


This is a symbol I often see in my area so did a little reseach!
Anishinaabe or Anishinaabeg, which is the plural form of the word—is the autonym often used by the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Algonquin peoples. They all speak closely related Anishinaabemowin/Anishinaabe languages, of the Algonquian language family.
The meaning of Anishnaabeg is 'First' or 'Original Peoples'. Another definition - possibly reflecting a traditionalist's viewpoint with a certain moral dimension - refers to "the good humans", or good people, meaning those who are on the right road/path given to them by the Creator or Gichi-Manidoo (Great Spirit).
"According to Anishinaabeg tradition, and from records of wiigwaasabak (birch bark scrolls), the people migrated from the eastern areas of North America, and from along the East Coast. In old stories, the homeland was called Turtle Island. This comes from the idea that the universe, the Earth, or the continent of North America are all sometimes understood as being the back of a great turtle, a mysterious natural consciousness. The Anishinaabeg oral history considers the Anishinaabe peoples as descendents of the Abenaki people and refers to them as the "Fathers". Another Anishinaabeg oral history considers the Abenaki as descendents of the Lenape (Delaware), thus refers to them as "Grandfathers". However, Cree oral traditions generally consider the Anishinaabeg as their descendants, and not the Abenakis.
A number of complementary origin concepts exist within the oral traditions of the Anishinaabeg. According to the oral history, seven great miigis (radiant/iridescent beings in human form) appeared to the Anishinaabe peoples in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e. Eastern Land) to teach the people about the midewiwin life-style. One great miigis was too spiritually powerful and would kill people in the Waabanakiing whenever they were in its presence. This being later returned to the depths of the ocean, leaving the six great miigis to teach the people.
Each of the six miigis established separate doodem (clans) for the people. Of these doodem, five clan systems appeared: i) Awaazisii (Bullhead), ii) Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), iii) Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), iv) Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear), and v) Moozoonii (Little Moose). Later a sixth was added. vi) Waabizheshi (Marten).
After founding the doodem, the six miigis returned to the depths of the ocean as well. Some oral histories surmise that if the seventh miigis had stayed, it would have established the Animikii Thunderbird doodem.
Source: Wikipedia

Kristijan D. commented on September 26, 2013 1:23am
Bruce Stanfield commented on September 26, 2013 4:10am
Thanks Kristijan!!!!
Laertis Art commented on September 27, 2013 8:28pm
Lovely image concept design history graphic! ~ : )
Bruce Stanfield commented on September 28, 2013 5:35am
Laertisart You rock! much appreciated!
Nicklas Gustafsson commented on September 29, 2013 5:47am
Really cool design!
Catspaws commented on October 1, 2013 12:23pm
nice one bruce
Deepti Munshaw commented on October 1, 2013 1:31pm
So awesome!
Wayne Edson Bryan commented on October 2, 2013 5:06pm
Oh Yeah! ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆! ;-)
gwenola de muralt commented on October 3, 2013 4:47am
very cool work Bruce!
Ming Myaskovsky commented on October 3, 2013 7:46am
Intriguing and fantastic research! Bravo! ;)
Bruce Stanfield commented on October 4, 2013 4:36pm
Thanks everyone, I am humbled! :) Love you all!
Michael Creese commented on October 18, 2013 10:06pm
Awesome work! I love it!
Bruce Stanfield commented on October 19, 2013 11:57am
Cheers Michael!
Morgan Ralston commented on October 21, 2013 8:11pm
Awesome piece! We built a totem pole at our cottage near Haliburton with this symbol as the head piece.
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