The Dodemak series

Boozhoo Niijii!

I am currently working on the Dodemak (clan) series. Some of the clan series is already available to see in the gallery - "Biizhew" , "Mahng", "Manidoo Makwa/Makwa miinawa waawaasgoneyan", "Adjiijak and Adjiijak1".  I plan to do each of the clan animals and I am currently working on Martin - "Waabazhazhii".

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe/Odawa/Pottawatomie), we have a system of government called a clan system. All Anishinaabeg have a clan which is based on the clan of your father (patrilineal society). Some Anishinabeg believe that farther back in our history we were matrilineal - took our clans from our mothers, and some Anishinabeg today, keep both their mothers and fathers clans. These clans we are given at birth, are not just in name but also include colors, songs, ceremonies, and responsibilities to our people.  Originally there were seven clans: the Bear, Deer, Martin, Bird, Fish, Loon, and Crane.

These clans hold traditional responsibilities to the people such as:

  • The Martin clan members are our military members of society who are warriors who protect our nation.
  • The Bear clan members are the societies medics/police that serve and protect our communities and in so doing, these members learned medicines that could treat minor illnesses and injuries not unlike today's EMTs.  The bear clan members are NOT medicine men/women or doctors, just medics.
  • The Loon and Crane clans are responsible for leadership - they are the chief clans. The Loon and Crane clan members are often noted as having great oratory skills with loud clear voices.
  • The Fish/Turtle clan members are responsible for mediating between the chief clans in the case there needs to be a settlement of a dispute/ a deciding vote. The Fish clan members are the intellectuals of the people. 
  • The Deer clan members were the gentle poets of our nation, who would not engage in uttering a harsh word. The Deer clan no longer exists today, for they were punished by the creator for marrying within their own clan. In our system it is forbidden to marry within your own clan, we see this as akin to marrying your own sibling. Even if there is a person of another far away tribe, but they are the same clan, you may not marry - a bear clan Ojibwe may not marry a bear clan Sioux.
  • The final original clan is the Bird clan, these are the spiritual leaders of our people, they are noted to have great intuition and knowledge of the future.

Today there are a great many more sub clans of the original clans and new clans that were formed from our members marrying and having children with people from other Native nations as our population has grown.

So as you can see there will be Martin, Fish/Turtle, Deer, and Bird clan art coming to the gallery and my MakoohnsDen Etsy shop in the near future so be sure to come back and check it out!

Mi iw