Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: lac du flambeau ojibwe | ojibwe | wisconsin | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 11 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe - Wisconsin
A distinctive design element in the traditional dress of the Ojibwe (Chippewa/ Anishinabe) people is the use of floral patterns, especially in the beadwork. The Ojibwe were distinctive amongst most Native Nations in their dependency upon wild rice as a staple of their diet. The Ojibwe were extensive users of the bark of the birch tree (ENAT, 57- 10). It served them as a building material for their wigwams, the exterior of their canoes and was molded into various containers for food, water and other items.
© Donald Healy 2008
All three items, the floral pattern, the wild rice and birch bark can be found in the flag of the Lac du Flambeau ("Lake of Flames") Ojibwe of northern Wisconsin. The reservation is located in northernmost Wisconsin just south of the border with Upper Michigan. The reservation is home to approximately 2,500 members and covers some 144 square miles.
Representing the Lac du Flambeau people is a white flag bearing in each corner a floral device reminiscent of the beadwork patterns of Ojibwe traditional costumes. These designs represent the wild rice plant found in the myriad of lakes in the lands of the Ojibwe - Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Western Ontario. In the center of the flag is a stretched hide shield having a Wisconsin landscape of green fields and conifer forests. Rising over the forest is a red sun while dominating the foreground is an intricate motif merging the bust of an Ojibwe warrior with the head of an eagle.
The warrior/eagle combination includes a pair of gold earrings and two feathers as a headdress for the warrior. All elements of the central device appear in natural colors. Just below this element and to the right appears an Ojibwe peacepipe.
From the shield hang six beaded feather ornaments while the shield itself is bracketed by a pair of birch bark torches. These torches recall the use of such devices by the ancestors of the modern Ojibwe when they fished, for the Ojibwe tended to do their fishing at night. Arching over the shield is the reservation name - Lac Du Flambeau, while below appears the words "Ojibwe Nation". This last caption is unusual in that most Anishinabe ("First People") in the United States accept the ChippewA NAME for official purposes. In Canada, Ojibwe or Ojibway is the preferred version. The Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe may be the only United States Anishinabe to officially adopt the Ojibwe name over the ChippewA NAME.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 11 January 2008