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To Let the Light In, and to Return It to the World

Sundance Hearts Earrings

The last day of March, host to the second blue moon of the year, and dawn is heralded by fire in the sky.

It doesn’t last long, of course — not this time of year. The truly spectacular sunrises come in the fall; sunsets, with summer’s monsoon season. But this year, thanks perhaps to winter’s extended drought and the occasional stray weather pattern that delivers only clouds, we have been given an unusual number of momentary but strikingly beautiful skies. to bookend our days.

These are gifts of the spirits, and a failure to notice or mark them would feel like ingratitude. They are, after all, expressions of the spirits’ — and Spirit’s — love for us. On a weekend when the dominant culture marks its own religious tradition’s greatest expression of love, it is worth our while to recognize the signs and symbols of love within our own.

Wings has always been fond of hearts, chiefly because of their symbolism. In many cultures, they represent love, of course. But in our way, the concept of love is forever bound up and braided with the essence of our identities and ways: history, ancestry, tradition; culture, community, clan; language, art, ceremony. Love is, at bottom, an integral, unbreakable part of that which we regard as sacred. And just as, in our way, the sacred is manifest in our whole world — in the earth and sky and wind and rain, the trees and the mountains and the waters and the light — so, too, is love manifest in the same way.

In other words, for Wings, hearts are a perfect expression of his identity, his culture, his work. Manifest in red, they become an expression not only of inspiration but of self.

Today’s featured works are two such examples. The first is part of an informal set, coordinating with a necklace of like materials and motifs. The second stands alone, yet complements the other pieces perfectly. From the description of the first, in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Sundance Hearts Earrings

The journey of the light lives in sundance hearts. Wings evokes Father Sun’s daily dance across the sky, the love and warmth it represents, with earrings aflame in coral and amber. The hearts themselves are wrought in beautifully beveled heart-shaped cabochons of brilliant apple coral, each stone aswirl with reds and oranges and metallic whorls of flame. Each heart rests gently but firmly in a scalloped bezel trimmed in twisted silver, and each is held fast in the embrace of three equally fiery amber cabochons, the sun’s illuminating rays extending outward in a graceful dance. The round amber cabochons are set into small sawtoothed bezels soldered securely to the cleft in the top of the heart and to the inward slope of either side. Apple coral cabochons are 1-1/8″ long by 1″ across at the widest point; amber cabochons are 3/16″ across (dimensions approximate). Earrings coordinate with Sunlit Heart necklace found in the Necklaces Gallery. View of earrings with necklace shown at the link.

Sterling silver; apple coral; amber
$775 + shipping, handling, and insurance

The name for this pair comes not, as most probably assume, from the dance given to certain of our peoples in the Northern Plains, but rather, from the joy that comes from the ability to live, to walk, to be — metaphorically, at least, to dance — in the light of Father Sun. It’s a reference that looks outward to the sun’s primacy in shaping and sustaining our world, a recognition and honoring of the fact that sunlight is essential for life.

The second pair, similar but not identical, takes the heart motif inward, to the metaphorical heart of our very selves. From their description in the same gallery:

Indigenous Hearts

Indigenous Hearts Earrings

In our way, our love for all that is springs straight from our indigenous hearts. Wings honors the unique qualities of our hearts, both literal and metaphorical, with a pair of stunning earrings in the colors of our people: each drop as bold and brave as a warrior’s heart, as red as our collective spirit. They begin with a pair of truly spectacular cabochons of apple coral, the dust of endangered coral beads out to the flame to emerge in a mesmerizing whirl of crimson and amber, copper and bronze. Each stone is set into a scalloped sterling silver bezel atop a backing that extends, at the upper end, into a stylized heart cut freehand to serve as the bail for each pendant. The settings are edged in delicate twisted silver, and via the tiny heart-shaped bails, hang from sterling silver wires. Each earring hangs a full 1.5″ long (excluding wires) by 1-7/16″ across; each cabochon is 1/38″ long by 1.25″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; apple coral
$675 + shipping, handling, and insurance

These are big, bold earrings that speak not merely of love and life, but of identity itself. They are created, symbolically speaking, in our own image, works that draw deep from within our spirits and experience to send the light — our light — out into the larger world.

On what is, in the dominant culture, a tragically holy weekend, one equal parts unutterably sad and yet filled with hope, on the last day of the calendar month and what will be the night of the year’s second blue moon, light is important now.

It’s time to let the light in, and to return it to the world.

~ Aji







All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2018; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owners.

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