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Floral Designs and the Woodland Tribes

5 May 2010

Language: a means of communication but also an evolving cultural resource that reflects its speakers, their community, and the place they live.  Art, like language, is a communication form that includes storytelling, craft, and design. Art reflects its makers, their history, and place. Art is especially important in cultures with oral traditions, such as the Anishinaabe.

The Woodland Tribes are recognized for floral motifs that portray important plants, flowers, and berries. As one Anishinaabe man explains, “The plants are our elder brothers, created before us, not reliant upon us, but give us nourishment/life.  We create designs to honor our elder brothers and their natural beauty, but we will never truly recreate something so amazing, which is why we put a mistake in our artwork.” Floral motifs are are most often created using bead-work.

The floral design adorning this page was created by Karen Savage Blue for FDL Resource Management.  It will be used on signs throughout the new RMD building. It is a typical motif in its use of the scroll pattern and the incorporation of plants important in this area, including blueberry, pin cherry, water lilly, and makasin waa big waan.

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