The Native Americans understood a few profound things about life. Among them, the knowledge that the land itself does not belong to us. We are merely the shepherds of each borrowed flock that happens to inhabit this earth.
As we travel far and wide, Native American culture reminds us that, for as much as we try to own, take, buy, sell, save or destroy the land, it, in fact, owns us. In addition to their wise acknowledgments of all things terrestrial, the Pacific Northwest coast tribes, situated within the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the U.S. states of Alaska, Washington and Oregon, also considered animals akin to human beings, with varying degrees of supernatural powers. Each animal had its own teaching and healing medicine and all of them were capable of taking human form, assuming their other forms when consorting with humans. There were Salmon People, Herring People and Grizzly Bear People. In fact, in ancient Native American lore, frequent references are made to a time when animals were humans, gifted with the power of speech and other human attributes. Native American tribes believed that animals had souls which are immortal and that they were reborn after death.
With this in mind, we stumbled upon this fine website while searching for interesting tribal jewelry that reflected this all too forgotten culture, so rich with art and story. Before European contact, the Northwest coast tribes used wood, stone, and copper as mediums; since European contact, paper, canvas, glass, and precious metals have also been used. The patterns depicted include natural forms such as bears, ravens, eagles, and humans, as well as legendary creatures such as thunderbirds and sisiutls (a mythological two-headed sea serpent or snake creature with an anthropomorphic head and hands in the middle of the body). These crazy mytho-monsters were common among the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and other indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The best part? All three heads of this mythological creature are surmounted by “horns of power”.
The artifacts these Native Americans made served also as a means of transmitting stories, history, and wisdom. Later, the art of the native Northwestern tribes were then used to decorate traditional ‘First Nations’ household items like spoons, baskets, hats, and paddles. Since European contact, the Northwest Coast art style has increasingly been used in gallery-oriented forms such as paintings, prints and sculptures.
Now, they bring us beautiful silver jewelry that will bring out the Tribal Goddess in you.