Guided by the Moon
Under the Guidance of Haŋwí
Vector illustration, 30”x24” metal print, 2020
This piece was created in Adobe Illustrator and printed on metal. It features Haŋwí, the spirit of the moon, surrounded by symbols representing the 13 lunar months.
The use of a circle as the foundation of the piece is initial as it represents Čháŋhdéška Wakháŋ (the sacred hoop), the cycles of nature and our roles as the human beings within it. Kapémni (mirroring, twirling) is a philosophical concept that what happens above in the star world is reflected on our world: besides reflecting the time of the year, mirroring also includes sacred places corresponding with the constellations above. Traditional life revolved around star knowledge, which taught us when to harvest, when to plant, when to hunt, when to have certain ceremonies. Thus, the months are lunar based and given titles to reflect traditional society reflecting the star world above.
The figure of Haŋwí is one that is standing above us, someone we can look up to in times of needing guidance; her eyes are the brightest features of the piece as representation of being a guiding light in the darkness. Behind Haŋwí is the Wanági Thačháŋku, the spirit road, also known as the Milky Way, that we travel along when leaving this bodily existence. Beneath Haŋwí is a sea of clouds; appearing as both clouds and as waves, this form represents her power to influence the oceans, the seas, as well as the influence over people (i.e. lunatics) and over women’s menstrual cycles.