Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wolf teachings guide my textile art!

Being of the Wolf Clan from the Nuu-chah-nulth nation on Vancouver Island I am naturally inspired to work wolf designs into my fashion designs as a textile artist!

Here is one of my vests accented with an appliqued wolf design with rhinestones for the eyes!

Wolves are known for being family oriented, a clan devoted to being teachers and leaders to share knowledge and teachings for future generations.

Another aspect of being from the wolf clan is being a loner, which I think is expressed through my textile art. My family knows my favourite time work on my designs is in the middle of the night. My creativity is peaked when I have my art as my sole company - no family demands distract me in the weeee hours of the night!

Photo by Nadya Kwandibens


Jason Diceman said...

More photos please! Let's see the collection from different angles.

Best of luck.


Koous Collection said...

Thanks Jason...

We'll have alot more time for a longer photo shoot is what I am coming to understand with. could you let me know where you are writing from?

playfully J'net

jas said...

perfect combination of color and style.

keep it up

jas said...

please add some more pics

Pamelia said...

Hi J'net, I loved to see you and new baby in your sewing journey,keep up your passion in design. on 21st feb. Bangladesh celebrate International language day. On that day all ethnique communities make and sell their own designed clothes which tells stories, songs, poems. This huge festival portrays language and culture of Bangladesh.
love to you and your kids.

Koous Collection said...

Pamelia! Great comments... thanks for your time to comment and details about the yummy celebration back in your hooooome!

I would love to learn more and find a way to get invited to this event some day.... there are some funds for International Aboriginal artist to travel... an exchange of sorts...

forward me any further details you can think of...

playfully J'...

Donna Meness said...

I have known J'net since she came east to go to University.

She & her siblings - like countless others- had been "scooped up" by child welfare in the late 60 & early 70's. She has been forged in the fires of Canada's ill-conceived quest of forced assimilation through the attempted devolution of Indian families, communities & nations.

She has always "cleared the path" whether by speaking out, using song, dance, beadwork, stories, fashion shows, community development, feasts & ceremonies.

She taught us to look at all aspects of our pain & learn from it. To free ourselves from it,to talk it away, sing it away, dance it away, bead it away, sew it away, pray it away & feast it away..

To give thanks to our ancestors for the gifts inherent in ourselves, elders, children, language, cultures, communities, nations & Mother Earth.

She was working for& with "adopted out" people prior to highschool graduation. I know she has been sewing since she was a girl & has shared her gift with an untold number of youth looking to reclaim their heritage throught the arts.

She is a living Nul-Chul-Nuth example of the SEVENTH FIRE PROPHECY.

She has lived her life upholding her clan's teachings..

-Wolf teaches that all things in nature have order amid chaos and to accept your duties in life, whether they be leadership roles or otherwise, with humility and strength.

- Wolf teaches that cooperation is paramount in achieving a common goal.

-Wolf gives the ability to effectively communicate feelings and ideas in a good way - to pray, sing and dance in praise of the blessings of the Creator.

-Wolf teaches balance between your personal needs and those of the family and community.

-Wolf teaches respect for emotions and facing the darkness within,to develope self-knowledge, strength & confidence.

- Wolf honors the forces of spirituality and connection with Mother Earth.

If you hear a wolf howl it might be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries, or...

it could be J'net saying hello!! LOL


Donna Meness/Algonquin Nation
Kitigan Zibi Anishnebeg Community
lifelong member of

Donna Meness said...


Seven major Nee gawn na kayg (prophets) came to the Anishinabe. They came at a time when the people were living a full and peaceful life on the northeastern coast of North America. These prophets left the people with seven predictions of what the future would bring. Each of these prophecies was called a fire and each fire referred to a particular era of time that would come in the future. Thus, the teachings of the seven prophets are now called the Neesh wa swi ish ko day kawn (seven fires) of the Ojibwe.

The First Fire said to the people, ”in the time of the first fire, the Anishinabe nation will rise up and follow the Sacred Shell of the Midewiwin Lodge. The Midewiwin lodge will serve as a rallying point for the people and its traditional ways will be the source of much strength.

The Second Fire said to the people, ”you will know the second fire because at this time the nation will be camped by a large body of water. In this time the direction of the Sacred Shell will be lost. The Midewiwin will diminish in strength.

A boy will be born to point the way back to the traditional ways. He will show the direction to the stepping stones to the future of the Anishinabe people.”

The Third Fire said to the people, ”In the third fire, the Anishinabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the west to which they must move their families. This will be the land where food grows on water.”


The Fourth Fire was originally given to the people by two prophets. They came as one. They told of the coming of the light skinned race. One of the prophets said,” you will know the future of our people by what face the light skinned race wears. If they come wearing the face of nee kon nis i win (brotherhood), then there will come a time of wonderful change for generations to come. They will bring new knowledge and articles that can be joined with the knowledge of this country. In this way two nations will join to make a mighty nation. This new nation will be joined by two more so that the four will form the mightiest nation of all. You will know the face of brotherhood if the light skinned race comes carrying no weapons, if they come bearing only their knowledge and a handshake.”

The Other Fourth Fire said, ”Beware if the light skinned race comes wearing the face of ni boo win (Death). You must be careful because the face of brotherhood and the face of death look very much alike. If they come carrying a weapon...beware if they come in suffering...they could fool you. Their hearts may be filled with greed for the riches of this land. If they are indeed your brothers, let them prove it. Do not accept them in total trust. You shall know that the face they wear is the one of death if the rivers run with poison and fish become unfit to eat. You shall know them by these many things.


The Fifth Fire said, ”In the time of the fifth fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all Native people. At the waning of this fire there will come among the people one who holds a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the fifth fire will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people.”


The Sixth Fire said, ”In the time of the sixth fire it will be evident that the promise of the fifth fire came in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the chi ah ya og (elders). Grandsons and granddaughters will turn against the elders. In this way the elders will lose their reason for living...they will lose their purpose in life. At this time a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of many people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost be spilled. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief.


The Seventh Fire that came to the people long ago was said to be different from the other prophets. He was young and had a strange light in his eyes. He said, ”in the time of the seventh fire a osh ki bi ma di zeeg (new people) will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail. Their steps will take them to the elders who they will ask to guide them on their journey. But many of the Elders will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the Elders will be silent out of fear. Some of the elders will be silent because no one will ask anything of them. The new people will have to be careful in how they approach the Elders.

The task of the new people will not be easy. “If the new people will remain strong in their quest, the Waterdrum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a rebirth of the Anishinabe nation and a rekindling of old flames. The Sacred Fire will again be lit.

It is at this time that the light skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the seventh fire will light the eighth and final fire, an eternal fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race make the wrong choice of roads, then the destruction they brought with them in coming to this country will come back to them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earths people.

(Taken from the Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway by Edward Benton Banai, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Indian Country Press, 1981)