Kwaawiki - The Silver Eagle Feather Sculpture
Designed and Created by Floyd Lomakuyvaya
Hopi Bearstrap / Spider Clan - Shungopavi Village
The following message was conveyed by Floyd to those gathered to witness the presentation of 2003 Barbara Chester Award to Allen Keller on September 7, 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"The feather itself, what it does for us and Barbara Chester, the whole thing is representing her and her healing purposes. When sculpting the feather, foremost within me is Barbara. The feather is my belief and in her belief – she believed in Indian culture. To heal, that was her job. Using all she has learned, experienced from Hopi and beyond."
The Path of Life . . . .
When you're first born,
you come out to the Sun.
It's the first thing that hits you,
no matter if you're inside or outside,
it's the first sensation that hits you.
You are received by your aunt and family . . . then your life starts.
On top of the sun there's a Cloud.
It provides us with water, moisture that all of us need to grow.
And with the sun above the cloud gives us light.
A lot of things need
heat to grow – we need this.
Below this there's a Corn.
That corn provides us with all of our nutritious needs.
It represents all of our nutritious needs for our body to grow.
The corn also represents our medicines that we need to heal ourselves
and to help others, if we know our herbs, to help one another.
Below that on the left side of the feather,
there is representation of other clouds.
At the foot of the corn there are 3 lines
representing the Rivers that run.
The Rain, cloud will make the rivers run – nutrition for the rivers.
Summer on the left.
On the right side a cloud symbol – Snow clouds.
During the winter months, helps us with moisture that helps us to plant in the summer
The Badger Claw in the middle of it . . . smoking,
tuuhikya (medicine man) praying for the people,
for all that is in the universe,
That everyone will stay healthy.
Related to Barbara Chester, healing for the People.
The Claw is a healing symbol.
Pipe – praying with it.—with corn pollen, talasi, and corn meal, hooma.
In underground house, everybody's healthier then.
[Barbara, a pipe carrier, unknown to many.]
Stepladder – those are all the obstacles we have to go through
no matter who or what you are.
We all have to go through these obstacles,
at some time we'll either trip or get sick,
we have to consider
such events in our lives,
we all go through that.
Right above, there's a little Cut in the feather.
From being born as a child to the genesis as an elder,
getting older of course,
you'll have some health problems – some minor, some major –
until the Deep cut.
Now you've gone through life,
it's time to take a break,
time to leave us.
Afterwards, your life will still continue on . . . .
When you're sick,
after the cornstalk, just the stalk is left,
that part you have to leave.
You go into another world.
After that, there's no death,
there's no sickness.
The eagle feather itself is a message
to carry our prayers in all directions
who are looking after usto our gods
for all our needs and our healing.
This is what Barbara believed in.
The base of the feather represents the universe on both sides,
what we're living in and the other side.
The side with the Water Wave,
Even though problems occur, we're all considered one people.
All people on both sides are considered to be the children of Hopi
we are all surrounded by water.
The Turquoise shows that we have all kinds of minerals –
that we are sitting on top of our needs – health, material-wise.
The symbol underneath has stood for
over 29 years during my work as a silvercraftsman,
it is an Antelope rattle, part of my clan symbol.
Without Rob Robin and Barbara Chester to be part of my life . . .
It's sad that she has to leave us.
Rob asked me to do
this, to sculpt this,
so the idea is set between Rob and I.
I'm sorry that I can't make it [to Copenhagen].
It would be an honor to be among you
and to meet the person who receives this.
I want to encourage him to go on and do a good job,
as Barbara has done.
Hopefully next time I'll be there.
- Floyd Lomakuyvaya, August 26, 2003