Ojibwe art and artists and Ojibwe oral traditions combine to teach the tribal history to new generations.
Ojibwe art is just one part of the beautiful tradition of Native American art. These beautiful creations tell about Indian traditions and customs, and also reflect stories about Ojibwe families and their experiences.
Some of the most unique and beautiful pieces of Native American art is the beadwork. Beadwork designs may represent specific tribes and tribal stories and legends. Beadwork is created with glass beads, tiny stones, and pieces of copper, silver and animal bones. Native American women also sew the beads into decorative patterns in clothing, moccasins, pouches and headdresses.
Some of the most popular pieces of Ojibwe artwork are dream catchers. They are often put in children's bed rooms to help "catch" bad dreams. Dreamcatchers were originally made by tying strands of sinew across a framework in a web pattern. They are now made with other materials and are popular gift items in casino, and other, gift shops.
Birchbark has been used by the Ojibwe for everything from "writing paper" to canoe construction and wigwam coverings. Birchbark was used to make hunting and fishing gear; food storage containers,musical instruments, and children's sleds and toys.
Birchbark baskets were made for practical uses like carrying food items. They were also created as beautiful artistic expressions and were often decorated with intricate tribal patterns.
Here are some beautiful examples of present day traditional birchbark canoes.
From The Mississippi River of Song:
"The Ojibway (Ojibwa, Ojibwe, Chippewa) have always been fond of singing, and their musical tradition has been a vital part of their culture. To be sure, performance styles have changed, music has been borrowed from neighboring (principally Siouan) tribes, and certain aspects of Ojibway song reflect culture loss. For instance, the dwindling number of speakers of the Ojibway language has led to a declining use of mean ingful song texts therein; thus an increasing number of songs are performed only to vocables. Yet the tradition retains a lively connection with the past, and good singers are still held in high esteem."
Not all of these Ojibwe art galleries and artists are in Minnesota.