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Fishy, fishy, fishy...what are your feelings on fish?

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  • Fishy, fishy, fishy...what are your feelings on fish?

    I'm making a shawl (not for anyone in particular; I'm just making it. It keeps me off the streets), and I was thinking of painting fish on it. Colorful fish, with pretty tails. Just like the ones we haul outta the sloughs in Peever. No really, I am thinking about using fish. Will this look stupid? Are fish bad? Just fishing for opinions...
    -W
    We are all half-crazy, and all at least half all right. -Josh Ritter

  • #2
    On the mi'kmaq site that I posted in General Craft there is a pic of a hide blanket with a whale pic painted on it
    if you want to take a look its near the end of the photo pages. It isn't as colorful as the fish you sound like you'd like to paint, the folks in Alaska also have lots of whales painted and carved too!

    cricket

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    • #3
      I thought you were in the Dakotas? We don't have colorful fish up here - just ugly catfish and walleye. Heheheheheee.... I think fish would look a little odd but then I'm "old school" so that's just my opinion. Nowadays, I guess it's anything goes...???
      Not better. Not worse. Just different.

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      • #4
        The People out west in British Columbia and the Inuit use fish and whales in the artwork and designs.
        I think a fish design would look unique. I don't think I've seen any outfits with fish designs on them, maybe you'll start a trend ;)

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        • #5
          ;) We *are* in the Dakotas, and our fish *are* butt-ugly... maybe that's why I've never seen one on a shawl. It just seems that everyone who's anyone this year has butterflies on their outfits, and my best friend has always said that I have a problem with authority.
          I'm gonna paint 'em on a piece of fabric that I got for free, so if it looks stupid, I can always trash it.
          -W
          We are all half-crazy, and all at least half all right. -Josh Ritter

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          • #6
            Try a sturgeon. :D You mignt get looks like these>> AYYYE!

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            • #7
              Koi. Beautiful, Japanese carp, highly prized and collected. If you can put butterflys and other bright, brilliant designs on your shawls, etc. why not Koi? I think it could make a real statement. And, different, too. Not Traditional, but I've seen some Fancy regalia that is so far from Traditional, plus whoever put them together must've been colorblind.......

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              • #8
                Hi Wren,
                I have seen some pretty shawls with teepes
                waterbirds or feathers and shawles with beadwork and starquilt pattern on the back,the fish might work for a little girl 3 or 4 years old but i would probably stay with the Traditional design Goodluck!!
                let us know how it looks Okay.

                Faith


                Trish

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                • #9
                  I'm with you Faith...I like to see the more traditional designs. Personally, I love floral designs!
                  ~~Saponi~~

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                  • #10
                    Badgie
                    your so right, I almost forgot about the floral designs :)

                    Faith


                    Trish

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                    • #11
                      Many People go with there tradishonal Tribe Designs for there outfits. If your going for the diffrent look then I say sure use the fish! :)

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                      • #12
                        Yeah...I painted the fish on last night, and I'm not sure I like 'em. My husband, the good eastern Dakota boy that he is, is pushing for more traditional floral designs to compliment them. We did have a very amusing discussion on why you don't see Northerns in beadwork.
                        -W
                        We are all half-crazy, and all at least half all right. -Josh Ritter

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                        • #13
                          At the risk of becoming too philosophical, I just wanted to make a statement about traditions. How far from traditional do we really want to go? I mean, American Indian people have adapted for hundreds of years but I wonder about the price of that adaptation. You can already see the difference in today's pow-wows.

                          Now, I'm not that old (REALLY!) but I remember dancing at pow-wows when I was little and they were much closer to our traditional values than today's events. Dancers weren't expected to be all glittery or flourescent to win or have a new outfit every year to compete. It's just nuts how "white American" we've become in our values.

                          I guess I bring this up because, whenever I see a break from tradition, I wonder how far it will go. One day, fishes. The next day, computers or movie stars or who knows??!! I mean, one guy up here had an outfit with spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs on it. What does that say?? He got teased alot and never wears it anymore. But you get my point??

                          Keeping designs traditional, I think, reminds us of the days when things were simple and tough and basic. It reminds us of the values that our ancestors had and that they are still our values too.

                          Anyway, WRen, I hope you don't feel I'm jumping on you or anything. I know that you're very respectful and culturally aware. I was just getting this off my chest, I guess.

                          I realize we've started down a path of assimilation and that we can't turn back now. But maybe we can stem the tide. There are lots of other ways to make an outfit attractive and unique without incorporating foreign designs or concepts.
                          Not better. Not worse. Just different.

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                          • #14
                            Longfeather,

                            After reading your words I have to agree. There have been countless times that I have looked at Mi'kmaq as well as the other Costal Woodland Regalia designs and thought "Beautiful" but realizing that those florals were introduced by the European, it's sad. We have little left of our tradishional designs. Colorful Fish would be fun as a novelty but it does take you one step closer to assimilation. On the other hand may be I should play with the fisheys and other sea mammels!

                            cricket

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                            • #15
                              Lucky for y'all, my husband and I just had this conversation, so I sort have my thoughts straight. We came to the conclusion that the concept of a "traditional" Native culture(s) is really a construction of the anthropological community. To say that things are only traditional that came out of a certain time and place is kind of subscribing to the idea that Native cultures are dead and no longer evolving...enit? :)
                              I'm really not prepared to go to the mat over this darned fish design. It was an experiment and not really that important to me. I would say that I draw the line at commercial designs- like Mickey Mouse (because Disney is evil) or Blues Clues. I don't think those have any place in powwow gear... you have to understand though, that I am pretty anti-commercial anything, so Disney and Blues Clues don't really have any place anywhere in my life. I feel the same about the gambling/ card themes.
                              Now that the paint has dried, the fish actually look kinda cool. I'm thinking of adding to the shawl: putting in some water and some cattails and other regional waterplants. Still, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the thing when I done. If one of the girls likes it, she can have it. Remains to be seen.
                              I'm glad I got a thread going here though. This board had been pretty quiet for a while. Maybe I'll have to make a shawl with armadillos just to antagonize y'all.
                              We are all half-crazy, and all at least half all right. -Josh Ritter

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