OE Global 2023 QOTD 4: Animals and Symbols

We are posing these Questions of the Day to energize conversations here in OEG Connect. In the spirit of conference vision of Braiding please know that everything here is for both the attendees who are traveling to Edmonton and those who are following from a distance.

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Where is the question? Here! This is just happened, but as a small effort of Two Eyed Seeing and the help of @Darrion we have renamed the facility venues from simply physical entities (Salon 4, Salon 5, Salon 17/18) to include animal of symbolic importance to Indigenous peoples as well as two trees from this region. So these same rooms are now Eagle (S4), Pine (S5), Turtle (S17/18).

Welcome to Two-Eyed Venue Naming!

Not all these animals might have the same symbolic meaning described in our guide and for many people these ones from North America may not even be familiar.

So we ask you first, for the seven sacred animals Bear, Beaver, Bison, Eagle, Sabe (Sasquatch), Turtle, and Wolf and the two trees Pine and Poplar, what, if anything do they mean or symbolize in character traits from your part of the world?

And if other animals and trees carry symbolism where you live, share some of them (we had discussions of including kangaroos, tapirs, zebras, capybara).

Or if you just have a favorite animal, let us know what it is what it means to you.

Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing everyone Monday October 16 in Bear (S8/10) :wink:

Please reply!

Penguins are meaningful in my neck of the woods at the end of the African continent … especially the Jackass Penguin or Cape Penguin. Unfortunately, any sacred meaning assigned to them by the original inhabitants of the land we live on has been lost by the relentless forced displacement to further the economic and colonial agendas. But the penguins remain (just).

One of the animals considered important in Costa Rica is the tapir (danta). It is called the “gardener of the forest” due to its critical role in the ecosystem, as it disperses seeds and opens clearings in the forest. I read in some indigenous cultures it represents the importance of women in their society.

Unfortunately, this is currently an endangered species due to hunting or hit by cars. Despite its large size, the tapir is a very fragile animal and needs to be preserved.

I’m thinking of the trees that were chosen to fill out the room names beyond the 7 scared animals.

Pine trees of course cover many varieties, are so familiar, and so mant places where they grow, but remembering from my earth history that as conifers they are among some of the oldest plant species.

I have stood at the foot of the oldest Bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California (6000+ years old), and that they were the main forest trees where I lived long in Northern Arizona and also thrive where I live now in Saskatchewan, I respect their ability to grow in cold and dry conditions. So this room is one of wisdom, strength, reliability, resilience.

Ponderosa Pine on the edge of the Mogollon Rim, Arizona. Like a Bumch of Tourists on the Mogollon Rim flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Poplar trees provide important shelter where I live now on the prairies in Saskatchewan, the wide spreading multi branches of the species on our home provide both shade and perches for birds of all sizes, up to large hawks and eagles. They spread laterally, rhizomatically, and by not cutting the natural grass, we have seen a whole new potential forest emerge in just 3 years.

They too are quite resilient, I have seen new leaves and growth sprout from trunks previously cut down.

2020/366/154 You Can Chop a Poplar Down But Cannot Stop it From Growing flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

So count on Poplar as a room to provide a comfortable, safe place, with much potential for growth.