Apr 2020: The Star that does not walk around.

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In collaboration with Seeding Sovereignty in their efforts to support Indigenous communities during this global pandemic I am offering, for pre-order, a numbered, limited edition of 100 strands of 4 Rainbow Shells & a RAFFLE for a grey & white layered shell wall hanging. 

100% of the proceeds from the rainbow strand and 100% of the raffle ticket price will provide water, food & PPE specifically for the Elders of the Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo communities in New Mexico. The Elders sustain the communities, ways of knowing and provide grandparent medicine. 

Dana Claxton, a Hunkpapa Lakota filmmaker, photographer & performance artist in my hometown of Vancouver BC purchased one of my first garlands in 2010 painted with clouds of the night sky clouds and said, ‘Everything we need to know is in the sky’. I have always remembered that.

In researching imagery and info for this, I came across this 1700 Skidi Pawnee Star Chart in this article by Astro Bob

"The chart includes many aspects of the sky. At either end are the warm orange tones of twilight that may indicate the east and west directions. The tiny stars running down the middle represent the band of the Milky Way which the Skidi saw as the Pathway of the Departed Spirits, the road walked by the souls of the dead. It divided the sky into two halves.

At the center of the chart to the left of the Milky Way is a large semi-circle of 11 stars called the Council of the Chiefs. The chiefs watched over the people from the sky. The North Star, depicted directly above the semi-circle, watched over them both in turn.

From the North Star, you can follow the outline of the Little Dipper and below it, the Big Dipper. The North Star’s importance in Skidi religion is reflected in its bigger size despite being the same brightness as the stars of the Big Dipper.

They called it The Star That Does Not Walk Around, one of the best names for this special star I’ve ever come across and a reference to its stationary position in the sky at the end of Earth’s imaginary north polar axis.

The bowls of the two Dippers were stretchers carrying gods who took sick during the ordering of the heavens and Earth at the beginning of time. Each is trailed by made a Medicine Man, his wife and an Errand Man – what we see as the Dippers’ handles.’

I want to thank everyone for the continued support of my studio during this very difficult, intense month. The WE2020 discount & additional donation percentage will remain in effect until I can get my studio doors open (as of now scheduled for May 4th but seemingly unlikely).

We have donated almost $3200! to Citymeals-on-Wheels bringing food to elderly people in NYC. I have endless gratitude for the volunteers of these organizations and for our essential workers, as well as utmost respect for our first responders. May we provide them with the protection they need. 

Again, I truly hope that this email finds you & your loved ones safe and in good health. 
Michele

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