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Bead embellished Buffalo Cab Mandela.
Bead embellished Buffalo Cab Mandela closeup.
 

I call this piece "Wisdom of the Buffalo Hunter".  It is actually more of a Mandala than it is a Medicine Shield.
 
What is a Mandala (also spelt Mandela, and Mandella?  "Mandela" is a Sanskrit word that means "whole world" or "sacred circle." Often referred to as the "Circle of Life," Mandalas represent wholeness. Used in many forms in many cultural and spiritual traditions, as symbols for healing, prayer and meditation. They appear in Native American and Tibetan sand paintings, Hindu yantras, Gothic rose windows, and sacred labyrinths.

The most prevalent Native American belief is that the great circle is the lodge of our bodies, our minds and our hearts. Although there are many parallels to the Tibetan Mandela, Native Americans never used the word Mandela to describe their sacred circles, but today's commercialism has put that familiar tag on their circles most identifiable by the wool accents.  "Wisdom of the Buffalo Hunter" is not a 'true' form of a Mandala, but more than likely would be referred to as being one.

My scanner isn't big enough to encompass the whole piece which measures 6 x 17 inches ( to the bottom of the braided wool).  The centerpiece is a porcelain cabochon I had custom made in a shop in Smokey Point, Washington that features a grazing buffalo.  I've bezeled it with size 13/0 charlotte cut glass beads and mounted it on an arrow shaped piece of genuine pigskin suede leather inside a brass ring wrapped in a cowhide leather strip with waxed sinew.  I've then backed and embellished it with wool, dyed feathers, glass pony beads, and rawhide strips. 

The buffalo represents prayer and abundance. It is through these things that we also learn selflessness, generosity, and hope. If a white buffalo, the holiest of animals, appears, it is a sign that prayers have been heard and that a period of wealth is about to begin.  In legends, it was the "White Buffalo Calf Woman" who brought the people the holy medicine pipe. Its tobacco united all forces of nature and its smoke rose as a visible prayer. The particles suspended in the smoke made it possible for the spiritual beings to grant wishes.  The buffalo teaches that everything exists in abundance if it is respected and accepted with gratitude. It is important to praise all gifts that are received and also to pray for the divine wealth being granted to others. The buffalo also points out that goals can only be reached with the power of the Great Spirit.  Buffalo's knowledge contains ancient wisdom.

This is a ONE-OF-A-KIND creation. 

If you like the styling of this piece but not the subject matter per se, you can visit my Cabochon Gallery  for ideas of what could be ordered for that special occasion of something unique, individual, and/or one-of-a-kind creation, then contact  Sunshine for more info.

BARTER/SWAP

Actually, this became a part of a Christmas Gift bundle I sent to my Canadian friend Tania and her family.   She is a very talented artist who has fallen on hard times do to ill health, she's currently waiting for a Kidney and Pancreas transplant.   She has been a great friend, very kind, and  extremely generous to me considering her circumstances, so I can only return the favor in the best way that I can.  GIFTS!!...heh,heh...wicked evil sunshine grin.....giggle. This Mandala is intended to given  to her Husband.  I'm hoping he will  love it as it is intended to honor him and his continual  spiritual provision for his family!!   

I can't provide an exact quote for Mandela's...just that they can vary in price from $50-$500 dependent upon theme and materials. 

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