Resurrection: A Hand Beaded Jacket by Mary Magiskan - Ozaawaabinesiikwe

My name is Mary Magiskan and I am an Anishnabe-kwe from the Robinson Superior Treaty area. I live on the north shore of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada. My spirit name is Ozaawaabinesiikwe, Yellow Thunderbird Woman and I am a member of the Eagle clan.

I beaded the yellow Thunderbird embedded by anishinaabe florals as a contribution to Caitlin's project, and I entitled it “Resurrection”. The Thunderbird is very sacred to the Ojibwe people and her power is told of in traditional teachings of my region. Because of the sacredness of these teachings I cannot write them down as they are traditionally passed down from generation to generation orally through storytelling and song. However, I can explain “Resurrection” and what it means on a personal level.

The Thunderbird in "Resurrection" overall represents new beginnings. The Thunderbird is an interdimensional being who departs during the winter and begins to return to his earthly obligations with the first rumblings in the spring. Thunderbirds resurrect during the summer months and are most active during this time. The Thunderbird channels energy from the spirit world down to the earth, awakening us and healing our spirits.

In “Resurrection”, the Thunderbird is embedded by flowers. There is only a short growing season in my region. For only a few precious weeks of spring, flowers bloom and the land becomes very lush. The land resurrects. I encapsulated the Thunderbird by flowers to remind us of the oneness and our connection to the land that we share. Mother Earth sustains us and we cannot live as humans without her.

I chose to use the colour yellow for the Thunderbird. On the medicine wheel, the yellow represents the eastern direction, where the sun rises faithfully, dutifully, majestically every single morning. When the sun rises it offers us hope for a new day, for a new beginning, for the opportunity to reconfirm our obligation to live in balance with all of Creation.

New beginnings. Resurrection. A bright future. Miigwetch -- Thank you. All my relations.

Mary Magiskan - Ozaawaabinesiikwe

Photographs by Cody Rooney

Styling: Moe Baloch

Model: Zoe Edwards