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Wandering turtle

medicine turtle, beaded hat band with sun and moon

Good afternoon and aho my friends. Wandering turtle you may ask. Yes, I am turtle clan and I do tend to wander so this may be a commentary on yours truly.
Actually this commentary is about my most recent beaded hat band. When I was a boy I noticed that there were several different turtle drawings used by my people and others. We had a single headed turtle with tribal patterns and colors on its shell. Another had water markings and foliage like you would imagine turtle island to be. Then there was a two headed turtle. My grandfather told us that the turtle never got anywhere and would just wander not knowing where it was going. We believe that to see the future and know what direction to follow you must look behind you. This turtle looks back and only sees itself. I chose to make this one a medicine turtle, because its trying to get to the stars with its medicine on its back but is eternally trapped within a circle, locked to the earth. This one never leaves and is continually reborn because it can not see the lessons from the past. The turtle lives at the completion of the red road represented by the brick red background.
This beaded hat band has sun medicine, moon medicine with our red road cutting through the illusion that has air above and water below. The fire arrows carry the energy around the band providing the turtle medicine that is carried on the turtles back. The turtle wanders a happy and rewarding path due to the turquoise legs, head and dangerously long neck. The links tie the elements together and make it one, just our time in the illusion. To see all my hat bands please click here.

This beaded hat band is made with no. 11 seed beads and is 23 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. This beaded hat band costs $70.00 + $5.95 shipping.

medicine turtle, beaded hat band with sun and moon
medicine turtle beaded hat band, sun and moon medicinebeaded hat band, medicine turtle, sun, moon

Sun, moon and medicine turtle beaded hat band

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Thunderbird in shadow

Hello my friends and aho. Another hat band completed and ready to share its medicine. This hat band combines the thunder bird with its power and strength, with the red road and the spirit journey we are all on.
First, the story begins with the star or center of our universe. On the right side the star gives us sun and on the left moon. The life force and energy travels on the red path and spirit is formed from the energy. The feathers represent the channeling of the energy until that spirit energy finds a home and takes on form. The red road begins surrounded by the blue river of life and mystery. As the red path grows longer the road surrounds the river, learning and growing wise. There is sun above and moon below as the path is traveled, as it is in life. Once the path surpasses the river it grows rich and turns dark, full of its knowledge and rich with experience. Now it is linked with the world of the unseen and joins the thunder bird for its journey into the mystery. Taken by the thunder bird in sun if it`s a happy spirit and shadow if it is a sad spirit. The light spirit delivers spirit to our ancestors to tell its story. The dark thunder bird delivers spirit back to the star and is left there to start the journey again. The back of the band receives the same star light and energy and turns it into medicine thus completing your circle when on your hat.

This is a powerful band and opens another chapter in my journey with hat bands. The thunder bird represents the coming together of twin or split spirit that has been on separate paths, coming together and making a perfectly balanced spirit.
All my hat bands are shipped with a bead keeping them in a circle so that the medicine is not lost. As you wear the band your medicine will soon flow through the band and share its story and strength. Thank you….Johnny Blackbird

The turquoise represents a good rewarding journey, the dark red is the color of peace and contentment, the feathers are strong and pure the stars are in the black of the unknown and mystery. Near the back the moon is above and the sun below representing night over day, the time energy or spirit travels free. You can see all my hat bands here

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Thunderbird and medicine

Hello again my friends and aho! I have finished another story hat band. This one is part of what`s becoming a new look or rather an old look revisited. Like all my hat bands it tells a story of strength, journey and following our path no matter what the illusion places in the way. This time it is a light colored thunder bird on the front, on a brick red background. Being light in color this one is full of good medicine. Strong yellow and red medicine from the sun and the white nurturing medicine from the moon. To see this hat band and others please go to This hat band features a split red road. The road is separated with the river of life, then surrounded by the river and then separated again as we travel it on our journey of discovery. The sun and moon are above and below our path and rotate to make sure we have balanced medicine.
The thunder bird is strong and balance with Sun and moon energy along with bright stars sending their medicine across time. The links tie us all together as we travel our path back to the stars. Thank you. Johnny Blackbird

new birdA

new birdE

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Spider on your hat

Greetings my friends and aho. In my last post featuring a Turtle hat band, mention was made about putting a spider mother on a hat band carrying her medicine. Back in July 2017 she was placed on a band and sold right away. As you all know, time slips away here in the illusion and your humble beader of hat bands is not the best at noticing its passing. (Place a series of laughing emoji here.) That was over 7 months ago and finally our spider mother has once again found
her way to another band.
In my culture the spider woman, or mother as I was raised to refer to her, is regarded very highly in almost a god like manner. My grandmother told a story where the spider mother had untold numbers of babies once and they ate her in sacrifice, absorbed her medicine and then wove the webs that held the illusion together. If you were to step on or other wise release the spider spirit it turned into a trickster and would prank you the rest of your time here. We also believed her message was one of sacrifice for your clan and protector in dreamland.
Now my promise from the last post has been fulfilled. Its okay for me to show you my spider mother on your hat. Thank you for your kindness. Blackbird
This hat band is 3/4″ wide and 21 1/2″ long
The colors are strong like the mother and full of energy. Her medicine spreads around the band and is repeated at the back. The links are to remind us that everything is tied together in our great circle. The star places us on the red road along with the Spider mother.

Spider mother hat band
Star on the side with red road, links and medicine
Spider mother hat band
On a white hat. Notice the orange and turquoise beads lining the red road. They represent a happy fulfilled journey with sun above and earth below.

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Spiders and Turtles and Stars

Aho fellow travelers. Years ago I use to bead a spider mother on a bracelet. The spider mother is very important to our culture and deserves to be honored, the same as everything else in our universe. I was inspired to change the design a bit and place her on a hat band as well as a bracelet.

Next time I will tell you about what the spider mother means to us. I have to finish another hat band that has our spider mother right on the front wearing her medicine colors.

Spider mother bracelet
spider band white
Spider incorporated into a new hat band
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Whistles while you work

Aho to all my friends out there. The other day while I was sanding my little clay ornaments for an order and listening to the birds. I often listen to the birds talk to each other and try to understand. As I was saying, while sanding and making plumes of dust I heard this one bird with a high pitched little song. It made me think of the Eagle whistles I heard years ago at tribal gatherings. Although that bird was probably no larger than the palm of my hand, it`s good to remember that bird was eternally related to the Eagle as we are related like the colors on our medicine wheel.

Eagle whistles are blown by whistle carriers and play an important role in healing and carrying prayers to our ancestors. At pow wow time they were used to compliment the singers and drive them to sing higher and with more intensity. We, being people of the prairie used turtle whistles made from sun baked clay formed inside a turtle shell. While serving the same purpose, they proved to be much more fragile. The little turtle shell also makes a good rattle and the turtle provides us with nutrition. We need to be very thankful to the turtle and honor them. Their ancestor formed turtle island and gave us a home.

You may have seen and heard this here before, but if you have a spare 20 minutes you may wish to enjoy it again.

To carry on after side track. I felt this birds little spirit travel on the breeze and settle next to me. I dropped everything, turned on my pow wow music and started beading. The result was a spirit bird with stars. The black bird spirit is on a sky background with the colors of the sun and its strength surrounding the whole image. The stars are on a black space of the restful end to our journey and is linked like a chain to the birds spirit. On the very end we see the blue sky reenter and the eventual return of the spirit.

blackbird spirit
Everything is linked together
bird spirit with stars
bird spirit and stars
clay ornaments
sanded ornaments waiting for glaze and finishing
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Turtle and stars

My ancestors and possibly yours considered north America to be turtle island. The story around it contains many animals, a turtle and an otter. There are many different turtles depicted among indigenous people. Ours is generally round with clan symbols on the shell and proportional legs and head. The one depicted here is a Sioux Turtle and on this piece it is traveling from a star and back to a star. The suns light guides his path and the other colors represent the sky, green of the forest and medicine on the shell. The black border reminds us that our existence here is contained held together by the transition and eventual return.

See it here with an assortment of other bead work

bracelet with turtle and star
6 3/4 long and 1 inch wide no. 11 seed beads.
bracelet with a turtle and star
Turtle and star bracelet