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Flowers and plants are honoured in the Thanksgiving Address of the Iroquois people. Whenever they gather together, the Iroquois recite these words before all others. This welcoming speech recalls and honours the earth, plants, animals, birds, trees, water, the wind, and the four beings: Thunder and Lightening (our grandfathers), the Sun, grandmother Moon, and the Creator. When Sky Woman fell, she grabbed hold of the roots of the tree, and the fragments that came loose gave her gifts including strawberries and tobacco. The story also tells that amongst these gifts were the Three Sisters – three plants which are the staple of the Iroquois diet: squash, beans, and corn – as well as other sacred plants: sweet-smelling grasses, sage, and cedar, which are used during ceremonies. In the beadwork objects, flowers and circles represent these gifts.

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Detail of crown made
by Robin Delaronde

 

The Twins

The Celestial Tree or Tree of Peace

The Sky Dome

Birds

The Four Directions

The Turtle

French if available (si disponible)