Meeting Nanabozhoo

Meeting Nanabozhoo

Past Exhibit

On display in the Capser center during the 2022 Season

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Waabooz Jibwa Bebezhigooganzhii (Waabooz)


Works by Rabbett Before Horses Strickland



Exhibit translated by Martin Powless which was sponsored by Chequamegon Bay Arts Council

*DID YOU KNOW… Nanabozhoo can be spelled differently depending on the Ojibwemowin (Ojibwe language) dialect of the different bands of Anishinaabe (another term for Ojibwe) using it. Like most languages, Anishinaabemowin (another term of Ojibwe language), is evolving and changing and varied!

Odishpendaanan iniw ananinaabe-gikinoo’amaagoowinan a’aw Waabooz. Mii wenj-dibaadodang anishinaabe-izhitwaawin ezhi-mazinibii’iged. Apane sa odayaabajitoon ozhizhoobii’iganaatig ezhi-dibaajimaad Nanabozhon. Mii iw keyaa enaajimaad Nanabozhon.

Mii go wiin Nanabozho miziwe ezhi-gikenimind. Aabita-anishinaabewi miinawaa aabita-manidoowi. Geget sa naa ogashkitoon da-aanjinaagozid wenji-aabita-manidoowid. Manidoowaadizi. Apane sa gii-miikinji’iwe babaa-ayaad omaa aking. Naa ge gii-waabanda’aad anishinaaben ge-ni-mino-bimaadizinid. Mil akeyaa ezhi-gikenimind igo gii-mino-iznichiped naa wanichiged naasaab enishinaabewyiaang.

Inspired by his dreams of Anishinaabe teachings, Rabbett Before Horses Strickland writes multilayered stories and histories with pigments and paintbrushes, using Nanabozhoo as his main subject.

A beloved figure in Ojibwe teaching, Nanabozhoo is half-spirit and half-man, a shape-shifter who has the power of the Mnidoos, but is ruled by human amotions. A ‘trickster’ who tries earnestly but achieves flawed outcomes Nanabazboo represents the tension between doing good while still making mistakes that we all recognize in ourselves.


Telling Our Stories with Manidoominensag

Madeline Island is the original home of many Ojibwe bands throughout the Midwest. Oshki-Anishinaabe (Ojibwe Youth) from several different bands created this manidoominensikaan (beadwork) exhbit to honor and celebrate the historic and continuous ties to their homeland, called Mooningwaanikaaning, the place of the yellow-breasted flicker birds.

It all begins with one bead.

Oshki-Anishinaabeg meaning “old enough to bead” were invited to share stories of cultural identity and persistence through beadwork. Ojibwe youth up to the age of 22 with a range of styles and skills were showcased in this exhibit.

Traditionally, Ojibwe designs for quillwork, and later beadwork, were inspired by nature. Today, this tradition continues as well as new design inspiration!

The word for bead, manidoominens, is made for joining Manidoo (spirit) -min (small & globular, berry) -ens (diminutive, tiny). This translates to “tiny spirit berry.” Manidoominens is an animate word in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language).

One of the beautiful aspects of the exhibit is how the oshi-Anishinaabeg listened to the manidoominensag (beads) while they worked, creating a collaboration between the unique beings of beaders and beads.

Oshki-Anishinaabeg Artists Open House Celebration

To launch this exhibit to the public we began by celebrating the beaders with the support of their families and local dignitaries. The event was catered by local Native chefs!

Below you will find some of the children and young adults who participated from around Bayfield Wisconsin area and were able to attend this opening event.