I have started a new project which again is a very high honor for me to have been chosen as their pipemaker. I have received a new commission to build 7 pipes for 7 women who have been studying under Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle and Sandra Moon Dancer (Canadian First Nations People) for 4 years to as long as 9 years getting ready to become the pipe carriers for their respective clans.
“We are honoured to receive pipes from a master pipemaker, whose hands are guided by Spirit. It is with deep gratitude that we send this message.
Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle”
These woman have been studying the Mother Earth teachings that have been handed down for hundreds if not thousands of years by their ancestors. These seven woman will be honored in ceremony in 2017 with these pipes and take a very important role with their people.
I cannot emphasize enough how humbled and honoured I am to have been selected to complete this project. I am not Native but yet I have been selected for this sacred task and once again I will honor my commitment to the First Nations People of Canada to bring to them 7 pipes that will in turn bring honor to these woman and help them on their very important new journey that they will undertake early next year!
When I receive a commission for a custom pipe I always save just about every piece of pipestone from each pipe as I can always find uses for the remnants. This pipe was crafted from just that – remnants of stone from a previous commission. I personally like small pipes as they are easier to handle and when you want to have a smoke by the fire these are a great choice.
This pipe is actually a midsize personal pipe according to my way of thinking. The pipestone in this pipe shares a two-tone coloring with a real deep traditional pipestone red on the left side of the pipe and a lighter pinkish red on the right side of the pipe. There is a teepee effigy towards the back of the pipe and the left front side has an eagle’s head totem while the right side is a set of feathers.
The detail in this pipe is not as high as in commission pipes (seen eft) such as the eagle pipe I recently finished. But this is a pretty cool little pipe. The overall length of this pipe with stem is 21″ inches long and the stone itself is 4 3/4″ long. The tobacco bowl is 1/2″ in diameter and the depth of the bowl 1 5/8″ deep. If you are looking for a personal pipe that you can smoke with friends this would be a good choice.
This pipe is prices at $165.00 and it ships with a protective bag. Shipping on this pipe should be less than $10.00 depending on your zip code. If you are interested in this pipe or you have questions please reach out to me at “firstname.lastname@example.org“.
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.”
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.
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.
So 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.
Every Once and a while a project comes along that really finds a place in your soul. This is one of those times. On Monday I will be shipping this project to its new owner in Canada. A First Nations man will carry this flute with him on an upcoming journey that will take him across Canada over a two-year period.
The idea for this flute came about after recently delivering a Native Styled pipe to the Western Ojibwe in Canada for which I was commissioned to craft. In a way this flute is a continuation of this pipe. The pipe which will be carried across Canada for the upcoming Tree of Peace Unity Walk will now have this flute as it’s companion. I have named this flute the “Spirit of the Pipe”.
I shared a vision with my Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers. At the Council Fire they contemplated my vision, and in turn, they received a vision of a Sacred Eagle Pipe that was to be gifted to me. Through ceremony and reflection, Spirit guided us to Timothy. The Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers saw in his previous work, that it was evident that Timothy has a connection with the spirit of the materials he uses. This was very important to us as this Sacred Eagle Pipe will lead a Tree of Peace Unity Walk and the planting of 44 Peace Trees across Canada. This Unity Walk is the vision I received that will bring together First Nations Peoples and all Canadians for world peace and the healing of Mother Earth. When I received the pipe in a ceremony, I felt the energy of Timothy’s connection with the spirit in the wood and stone, in the making of this sacred pipe. Timothy is a master craftsman and artist who’s hands are blessed by the Great Spirit. In gratitude from myself and the Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers of the Cherokee, Iroquois, Ojibwe, and Cree of the Council Fire of this vision, we honor Timothy and his creation of the sacred pipe.
Walk Sacred, Talk Sacred,
Jesse-Blue Forrest – Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle
I wanted to incorporate the spirit from the sacred pipe by attaching a mouth piece to the flute that was crafted from the very same stone the pipe was made from. In addition my plans were to craft a cabochon from the same stone to inlay into this flute. In my mind’s eye this addition of the stone to the flute would help carry the spirit of this pipe over to the flute. I had hopes that this flute would share in the very same journey as the pipe.
As one draws in the smoke from the pipe in ceremony this same breath would give life through their playing of the flute. If this were to happen this would accomplish my vision for this piece.
This six hole flute features a 1″ inch bore crafted from Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It is tuned to the Key of D#. It features the Four Winds tuning holes and by most standard this is a large flute. Although I think it is the perfect size as its new owner like me is a large man and should have no trouble playing it.
The theme for the pipe was that of the Eagle and so too we carried the same theme through to the flute by adding a fetish that represents a whimsical vision of the Eagle in flight. The fetish sits between two rails crafted from a special wood called Sapodilla. This reclaimed wood has much the same color tones as the pipestone.
One of the interesting twists in all of this is that the Tree of Peace Unity Walk will start it’s journey on a sacred mountain on Vancouver
Island. The very same place the Alaskan Yellow Cedar used in this flute was harvested from several years ago.
It is always an honor when I have the opportunity to be commissioned for a project. I am always humbled that there are those who find my style of art pleasing. But it is especially humbling when I am given the opportunity to create something as special as these two projects for the First Nations People of Canada and know that they will be used in Ceremony and not used as a cliché…
In the past couple of day I received a phone call and was commissioned to craft a new Native Pipe that will be used later this year in a ceremony where the pipe is scheduled to be blessed at ceremony and given to a special recipient. The tribe who has commissioned this pipe is the Western Ojibway tribe from Ontario Canada. This is a real honor for me to have been selected by the elders to make this special pipe.
Many of you know that Peyton and I live in Jackson Hole most of the year and we now live south of Jackson Hole on the south side of the Snake River in an area call Hoback Junction. We are at the end of the road on 5 acres and the Snake River is about 100 yards to the north of our property.
This past weekend my wife headed into town for some errands an at the end of our driveway and along the Snake River there were two large male Bald Eagles sitting in some Cottonwood trees. She saw them immediately and stopped to watch them and they just looked at her as she got closer to them. They did not fly away like they normally will when approached. She stayed with them a few minutes and moved on.
When she told me this I knew I had to stop what I was doing and work on this pipe for as long as I could this weekend. I have been amazed at the progress as I have been able to completely rough out the design, I have attached the picture at the top of this post for you to look at. This looks to be a beautiful piece of stone and when all shaped it will carry the deep solid red color desired in a Catlinite Stone (als called Pipestone).
The Inspiration For This Commission
A few years ago I crafted a special pipe seen in the picture above. This pipe has never been smoked and it is stored with Sage inside the bowl. This pipe has a wonderful story behind it and it is one of my favorite pipes I have crafted. This very picture was found by some elders in the Ojibwa Nation and it was the genesis of the commission I am working on now. These types of projects are the absolute best to work on as they will in the end fill a very important role in someone’s life. I can only hope that my talents and craftsmanship will meet or even exceed their expectations.
I just wanted share the soon to be blessed stone as well as share a little of the story here. If you have questions or would like to reach out to me email me at “email@example.com” or give me a call at (307) 690-0427. Have a blessed day!