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Metamorphosis, Monarch, Matriarch

Matriarch Butterfly Barrette

This is a significant day here: It is Wings’s birthday, and it is also the third birthday of The NDN Silver Blog. As we come simultaneously to end of a week in which we have featured the spirits of metamorphosis even as we begin a new calendar month, it’s fitting that we should feature an all new masterwork by Wings, one as transformative as both this space and his art.

It’s no secret that much of Wings’s work is built around honoring women, and those female and feminine spirits that birth the whole world. But such works pay tribute to specific types of female power: that which nurtures and midwifes, yes, but also that which leads, in battle and in life. The feminine spirits of his art are warriors and chiefs, guardians and guides, spirits who have undergone their own metamorphosis, tempered by the fires of experience, and often sorrow and grief, to emerge, transformed, on the other side. In our way, there is no royalty, but there are great leaders; no monarchs, but powerful matriarchs.

And so, today, we introduce Wings’s latest work, a tribute in triptych: metamorphosis, monarch, matriarch. From its description in the Accessories Gallery here on the site:

Matriarch Butterfly Barrette

Our ways honor women, and the cycles of the natural world. Wings pays tribute to both, and to the small powerful spirits who serve as the royalty of the winds, the monarch butterfly: she who undergoes a process of metamorphosis to become an avatar, a leader of her kind. It begins with a pair of sterling silver wings, cut freehand with lightly scalloped edges, flanking a small round head and pair of graceful antennae. Her body is formed of a marquise-cut onyx cabochon, set into a saw-toothed bezel and overlaid at the center. Her tricolor upper wings are formed from a pair of oval snowflake obsidian stones, four brilliant orange round amber cabochons, and two smaller round rainbow moonstones. Her lower wings bear a pair of oval onyx cabs edged by alternating pairs of round citrine and rainbow moonstone cabochons, scattered above hand-stamped flowering images and sacred hoops accenting the bottom of her wings. Her whole being is slightly curved to follow the line of the French clip on the reverse. The barrette stretches 3.25″ across at the widest point and stands 2.5″ high at the highest point; center cabochon is 1.25″ long (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; snowflake obsidian; onyx; amber; rainbow moonstone; citrine
$1,600 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Monarch butterflies are migratory creatures, traveling farther than any other of their kind annually. They return, navigating by the radar of ancestral memory, to those places that are welcoming, that nurture their bodies, that enable them to reproduce and keep their species alive. These days, that is no small feat: Much like our peoples, they live under existential threat, their numbers and survival of their clan and kind now badly endangered. And, as with our peoples, it is the female spirits who give life, in ways literal and metaphorical. Even in our most patriarchal nations, the matriarch is always the one to keep body and soul, clan and community together.

As we enter a new month, the month of Wings’s birth, it’s a fitting tribute to his own existence and a nod to the spirit of his name: to honor the beautiful and endangered migratory scout, the small wingéd warrior, the matriarch the rest of the world calls monarch.

~ Aji







All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owners.

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error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.