Posted on Leave a comment

The Eagle (Anukasa) and the Range…”Nakhota”…

The “Nakota” Souix (pronounced nah-KO-tah ) is the tribe’s name for themselves and may mean“friends” or “allies.” It comes from the Yankton word, Nakhota, sometimes translated as “alliance of friends.”   another meaning for the name is “those who consider themselves kindred.”

Earlier this year I was contacted by a very special man, Jesse-Blue Forrest Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle who reached out to me to commission an eagle pipe that would be used in ceremony over several years as this pipe was to take a long journey across Canada on what is now known as the Tree of Unity Peace Walk.

Once I had accepted this commission which was and is a great honor, I knew I had an important task set before me.  As I pondered the path I would take to craft the sacred pipe that was to be an Eagle pipe I for some reason decided to start two pipes at the same time, one of which is the pipe you see before you here and the other at the top of this post.  It was made very clear to me the importance of the commission I was about to undertake and the very next day I started on the journey with great passion – a journey that would end with two pipes.

ojibwa_13_DSC0352_02
Tree of Peace Unity Walk Sacred Eagle Ceremonial Pipe Completed July 2016

The most important task was to complete the Tree of Unity Peace Walk pipe then I could focus on the second pipe to follow which I am calling “Anukasa and the Range – Nakhota, Alliance of Friends”.  This eagle pipe will be seen by thousands of people at the upcoming Western Design Conference to be held this weekend here in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  I am hoping to share a small glimpse into the world of the Sacred Pipe by way of display.

As many of you know I live in Jackson Hole Wyoming, home of the Teton Mountain Range, known worldwide.  This powerful mountain range rises above the Teton Valley and it is the Southern Gateway into the Yellowstone Basin.  Les Trois Tetons it is believed was the name given to the mountain range by the Iroquois or French Canadian trappers in the very early 1800’s.  Since then these majestic peaks have been called by many names.

It is a very rare event that I trek north of Jackson Hole when I do not see one or more Bald Eagles soaring around the valley and into the base of these mountains.  When you see the majesty of these magnificent birds and how they interact with Mother Earth and her ranges it is clear there is an Alliance of Friends or another way of saying it is Nakota or Nakhota which are names used to describe today’s Assiniboine First Nations People.

dsc0644_wdc_eagle_tetons_01_100dpiSo why use this translation and not something else?  Well truth be told all of the Sacred Pipestone I receive comes from a single family who are Assiniboine descendants and they live on the Assiniboine Reservations located in Northeastern Montana.  Donovan Archambault is my Assiniboine Elder Mentor, a Master Pipe Maker in his own right.  Each summer Donovan and younger parts of his family travel back to their ancestral  region in Minnesota to hand quarry the sacred stone from Mother Earth.  It is then hauled back from Minnesota to Montana where I gather stone that was hand quarried and allotted for me.

So it is in this spirit that I use the Name of the Nakota people and their indigenous language translation for the name  “Eagle”.  When you see these powerful and very sacred birds interact with the nature that surrounds us here in the Yellowstone Basin you can certainly grasp the Alliance that must take place between their very nature and Mother Earth in order for them to survive.

 

Posted on 4 Comments

Commission Complete…

Eagle Themed 6 Hole, 4 Winds, Tuned to D @440Hz

It is always an honor when someone reaches out to me for a special project they have in mind.  This flute was no exception.  This piece was commissioned by a gentleman in Scottsdale Arizona who had a vision for a flute he wanted.  Originally this project was to have a Bison theme to it but soon after we started construction there was a change request which we agreed to as it seem to make perfect sense.

jkrohn_07_72DPI_DSC0553This 6 hole flute is hand crafted from Old Growth Black Walnut and features Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar Fetish rails.  The Eagle fetish is crafted from both Black Walnut and the bird itself is from Maple.  As with every flute I build specifically for someone I look for the story behind the project.  In this case this buyers story fit the end product we will finally deliver this week.

The genesis for this flute started back in the mid 1850’s when pioneers heading west brought with them Walnut trees to be planted around their farm houses and barns.

“Wow! That is a masterpiece, a master who is in touch with the spirit of the material. One who is truly connected to the elements of Mother Earth. It has been an honor to know you and your work. The Great Spirit, the Creator has gifted you. ”

Jesse-Blue Forrest
Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle
(Walking Thunder)

The walnut this flute came from was harvested from trees planted just west of Boulder Colorado and as best we can tell the tree was planted around 1850 or so.

The Alaskan Yellow Cedar used for the rails comes from Old Growth trees cut from Vancouver Island that are at least hundreds of years old and the Maple also came from the Boulder Colorado area.  So this  lumber has traveled another 500 miles north to my shop here along the Snake River here in Jackson Wyoming.  Then one last journey of 900 miles to its new home in Scottsdale Arizona.

jkrohn_01_DSC0442-fetishonly_02The Eagle Theme was something I had not really done previously and when Jim shared with me other eagle fetish designs he had seen and liked I knew I would need to find a fetish that fits within my whimsical fetish designs and its coming marriage to this flute.  I did not want this to be in any way a representation of someone elses work.

jkrohn_01_DSC0442-fetishonly_01Because I live along the Snake River there are many Bald Eagle nests around my home and while on my afternoon walks I would watch the males fishing from above.  This fetish is my representation of watching these magnificent birds dive for fish along the river and this is where the idea for this particular bird came from.

Idaho_Jasper_Krohn_01_DSC0488I wanted to inlay a stone into this flute so I selected a piece of polished Idaho Picture Jasper and set it in a silver bezel which I inlaid into the body of the flute.  I really liked the colors in this stone as it really seems to match the colors found in both the flute, the leather and the stands.  Although this is a time-consuming value add I really like how it came out and this stone seemed to be right at home once it was set.  All of
the leather accents are from hand selected Bison hides matching the
colors in the stone perfectly.

jkrohn_09_bead_DSC0528One really cool feature is the way the feathers (replicas) are hung from the flute body.  In stead of using trade cloth and sinew to wrap the upper portion of the leather straps I hand crafted a stone bead crafted from a piece of Catlinite (Sacred Pipestone) and it acts kind of like a bolo tie which makes it easy to adjust and even remove the feathers if desired.  Another time-consuming value add but well worth the effort as it really makes or a clean presentation.

The stands came right out of the forest behind my home here in Wyoming.  I guess you could say they are truly repurposed tree branches.  Anyway I wanted to make something simple, yet functional and look good too.  Finally I added a hand crafted Bison leather case for the flute to be carried or stored in.  Hand crafted by Leah Burgess from Riversong buckskinbisonbag2Leather Studios out of Laramie Wyoming.  This is a beautiful work of art all in its own right.

Once the flute was complete and ready to be delivered I added the final accents of leather braid and beads.  The beads that hang from the braid are a combination of Sterling Silver and Glass Crow beads.  We added a 4th hole leather cover that can be used as is or removed.  All in all a very nice project that I am very proud of !  Oh… and it plays nice and sounds good.  Listen to the clip below…

Future Commissions are available for those interested in a project of their own so reach out to me with questions at “timjen333@gmail.com” … I would love to make one for you.

Listen to Sound Sample from this flute

Eagle Themed NAF Flute crafted by Timothy Jennings Jackson Hole Wyoming