The Skywoman story, shared by the original people's throughout the Greak Lakes, is a constant star in the constellation of teachings we call the Original Instructions. These are not 'instructions' like commandments, though, or rules; rather they are like a compass: they provide an orientation but not a map.
-Braiding Sweetgrass, Skywoman Falling (p.7).
Métis/Cree singer-songwriter Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s "gchi-miigwech maskihkiya" music video was directed by Shane Belcourt, produced by Michelle St. John and Jeremy Edwardes, shot by Sean Stiller, and edited by Francis Laliberte. The video features art work projects by acclaimed Métis artist Christi Belcourt. The work was inspired by Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. (This music video is an excerpt from the TV documentary series AMPLIFY.)
Braiding: Lessons from Braiding Sweetgrass for Oboe and Electronics is a 10-minute work for oboe, electronics, and natural sounds, based on the writing of Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass. It was composed by Asha Srinivasan and commissioned by oboist Sara Fraker, who premiered it in 2017.
Image of a portrait, "Skywoman, Moment in Flight" by Bruce King (Oneida) from the SUNY College for Environmental Science and Forestry website
"The mythic story of Skywoman Falling is the heartbeat of Braiding Sweetgrass, both an opening and a closing, enfolding the stories between. The version shared in the first edition is the most widely told account of the epic, but it is not the only one. There is always the deep diving Muskrat and the earth on Turtle’s back. The rescue by the Geese and the gifts of the animals are a constant, as are the seeds Skywoman brings, initiating the covenant of reciprocity between newcomer humans and our ancient relatives. The detail that varies from one telling to another is just how Skywoman finds herself falling from one world to the next. The common version is that she slips, the earth giving way at the edge of the hole in the sky where the great Tree of Life had fallen. It is an accident, with mythic consequences — and so it begins."
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