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Waterbird question

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  • Waterbird question

    Is it ok to use a waterbird design on a medicine bag when neither the beader or the person the bag is for are NAC members? Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but I don't want to disrespect anyone.

    The bag design and waterbird graph are in the book 'Creative Native American Beading' by Theresa Flores Geary. She talks about the design and NAC but doesn't say how - or if - the waterbird is used outside NAC.

  • #2
    I'm going to throw in my $0.02. I've been asked by people to use the waterbird and I've never been comfortable with it. I'm not a member of the NAC. I've not been given any knowledge about this and I don't fool with what I don't understand.

    If she's not NAC and it's not a meaningful symbol to her then why use it? Throw away the book and make a design that speaks to your friend. Remember symbols have power and the works of your hands have power, you want to be sure everything goes together in a good way. Messing with things you don't know about is a sure way to make good intentions go bad.

    As for the whole medicine bag thing... Well, that's another can o' worms that I'll refrain from commenting on -- for a change, LOL.


    • #3

      there are other water birds designs besides the symble used by NAC people remember Herons eggrets terns gulls and even eagles are fishers. and they are ok to use i do agree somewhat that unless the person is a member of NAC the peiote Bird shold not be used....then again did the person requesting this piece have a dream? are they related to a NAC member and are honoring them? Are they a member of a tribe which have ties to NAC? thier are many variables that i would say would be fine to use...or just do what I do ..if something makes you feel uneasy ask a elder....they will put you on the right track...If you do seek advice from an elder i would suggest bringing some tobbaco or food to thank them ...onen
      In Search of the Elusive Government Cheese


      • #4
        Thank you for your thoughts, turtleclaninc . . . Neither my friend nor I have any connections to NAC - I asked so that I would not end up using a symbol in a disrespectful way. But my friend grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and was surrounded by all the wonder of the wild waterbirds there. Life has been hard for him and most of the wonder of those years is now gone. My thought was that a small bag of sage (which he loves) with a waterbird design, that he could simply hold in his hands, might cause him to think and help him find a path back to wonder again.

        Thank you again for your thoughts.


        • #5
          Sekoh Yak'sa
          Hello Sister
          Skennen Kowa
          Great peace to you
          humanity needs more people like you, i think its a wonderfull idea you have. lots of lost people out there. I am not a Holy man but I am a Traditionalist i am an elder for the Red Road Native Sobriety Programs. i'm a little a squrmish bout the medicine bag thing... so here is my suggestion ...take it with a grain of salt. smudge yourself and your matterials. pray for this person while Beading and makeing the bag. place in some sage but dont seal it...give him the bag and tell him to go gather his own tokens(medicine and helpers) tell him to go to coast, the woods, get out in nature, tell him to pray for signs and help,,we are supposed to gather our own, when his finished ...could take a long time
          but when he does he should seal the bag himself....i believe that when this person goes off too nature you will see a change..Hopefully...Newagers bunny and treehuggers have bout destroyed our native ways, and controversy over who makes bags and bundles you sure have a hard road to travel on this one... but believe your Beadwork and prayers will mend this person. look in my photo's.... my wallet was made by my grandma Narcomey one side has a waterbird the other a NAC peiote bird you and everyone else has my permission to use as you please.......out of respect...Onen
          In Search of the Elusive Government Cheese


          • #6
            I guess using the waterbird design for someone who is not NAC is kinda like using Tawis Tawis (snipe) design for someone who's not of that clan.....

            Mezzo.. did you ever think of just using an eagle on the bag?
            Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


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