|Mom at Crater Lake 1954 (yes, before I was born!)|
|Rim of Crater Lake|
|Mom's necklace on the right|
A horrific battle ensued with the gods hurling red hot rocks back and forth between Mt Shasta and Mt Mazama. A terrible darkness spread over the area for days, and in an attempt to calm the gods two medicine men offered themselves as a sacrifice and jumped into the spewing volcano of Mt Mazama. Skell was impressed and sent a final blow that collapsed the top of Mt Mazama pushing Llao deep within imprisoning him forever. Explorers are able to identify the existence of the Klamath tribe during the explosion as dozens of sandals were discovered under the ash thought to be from the explosion of Mt Mazama. The lake became a place to seek visions but only by those with considerable powers, like shaman and chiefs. Spirit quests would often take place at night with the seeker swimming underwater to encounter the spirits lurking in the depths of the lake.
There is so much symbolism in Native design that I didn't want to screw around with that. The first thing I did was look for the symbol, but mistakenly I thought that the pattern was a flower. The more I looked for it, the more I realized that the pattern was a star and that it was a prevalent symbol for many tribes. I found the pattern in designs for the Cherokee, Sioux and the Mochilla tribes, but then I found its perfect match; Apache. The pattern was the exact same stitching and bead count in this link from Missouri State University. It noted that there are four key identifiers for interpreting Native American beaded rosettes. In order of importance start with the symbol. The circular design depict protective spirits such as the four directions. The symbols can tell stories about the person's ancestry or the spirits that are important to the family.
Next in importance are the colors and typically provide the key to the tribe origin. For example the Lakota use black to represent the west wind, autumn and the dream world while red means the sunrise, birth and the east wind. Looking at my pattern it seems I used the Lakota colors. So I did apparently screw around with the significance of the original design. Sigh. I apparently just do not seem to be able to color within the lines. So I stopped trying and decided to finish each medallion in my own way.
The third identifier is the repetition of the pattern. Typically a pattern repeats in sets of four, seven or twelve which refer to the directions of specific spirits. Well at least here I had followed the repetition in the pattern using nine points to the star rosette. The last identifier is whether the design is something that can be described as personal or if it is significant to the tribe.
Even with all these indicators to help trace the origin of the design it has over time become less reliable with the tribes intermixing and exchanging ideas. Perhaps that is why I found an Apache design at the site of the most sacred place of the Klamath.