Juniper Earrings, Arielle Tsinigine & Rosabelle Shepherd, Dine’

Juniper Earrings, Arielle Tsinigine & Rosabelle Shepherd, Dine’
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Arielle Tsinigine,
Dine’ Navajo

I am Dine’ (Navajo). I am of the Tobacco People Clan, born for the Many Goats clan. My artwork consists of the use of the native juniper berry seeds combined with the many minerals and shells of Mother Earth. My culture is very important to me. I would not be an Artist without it. Art is storytelling, what we have been doing since the beginning of creation. My grandmother, Gleehbah Teasyatwho Shepherd, told me this beautiful story of the juniper berry seeds: “It is said that upon our emergence to this world with White Shell Woman. It is from her that all teachings of our Way of Life became known. It is through her we learned our language, songs, ceremonies and our prayers. It is through White Shell Woman we learned of all animal life, plant life and spirit life. It is in accordance of her teachings of I’ina (Life) that we carry our daily lives to complete a beautiful I’ina for all our relations and ourselves. Upon completion of her mission, she spoke to The People (Dine’), “I have taught and given you all that you will need to live in this world, I will leave the TSI’DZE’ (juniper berry seeds) as a reminder of my bosom, as I have served as your mother. The seeds will represent the nipples of my bosom, as I have cared and fed you as my children. If in the days ahead, I see you wearing and utilizing the TSI’DZE’, I will know you have listened to my words and teachings, I will bless you. I will now leave to reside in the West, so that I will meet my husband, The Sun, at the end of each day”.  Wearing TSI’DZE’ brings a reconnection with our inner strengths and acknowledging our surroundings with patience, courage and wisdom, so that we may walk in harmony and beauty with Nahasdzaan Shima’ and Ya’Dilhil Shitaa’ (Earth Our Mother & Universe Our Father).

Rosabelle Teesyatoh Shepherd
Dine’ Navajo

I am Dine’ (Navajo). I am of the Tobacco People Clan, born for the Towering House Clan. I have been silversmithing for the past 18 years. I am a fifth-generation silversmith. As a young child, I would sit and watch my father, Atsidii’ Yazhi’ (Little Silversmith) known as Donald Shepherd, fabricating silver with turquoise. As I grew up, I watched my five brothers learn and carry the trade at silversmithing into their adulthood. I was surrounded with the art of silversmithing throughout my life. My designs are Rain Clouds, Rain. Lightning, Water, Plant Life and Prayer feather symbols. These symbols acknowledge wter as one of the sacred elements, the healing and medicinal properties of Plant Life and blessings of the Prayer Feathers. A favorite of my work is designing the inside of all my bracelets (cuffs) with the protection symbols of the Four-legged Beings and the sacred elements with the Beautyway Prayer. – Rosabelle Teesyatoh Shepherd

Here are just a few examples of beaded earrings by Arielle and Rosabelle, and they are made with natural juniper berry seeds, shells, stones, freshwater pearls and dyed mother of pearl. Their lengths range from 1.5" to 3.5" and their prices range from $50 to $60. These are one of a kind items and are also for sale to the general public in our gift shop. Please contact us at (605) 673-4681, and we will be happy to assist you to find that perfect pair!

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