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Bear, Don Standing

Don Standing Bear was born in Massachusetts, the son of Andres “Grey Wolf” Forest and Esther “NightDancer” Forest. He is a member of the SOU’ West Nova Metis (Canada) and the Mi’Kmaq/Abenaki/Huron tribes. Don’s grandparents, parents and sisters have been influential in his pursuit of his native heritage and artistic expressions. Don lives in the Two Rivers area of Alaska. He is the keeper of the “Walks the Nation Drum” and he teaches traditional Native American Drumming Dancing and arts and crafts to elementary students. In his spare time he helps his wife Edie with her 17 sled dogs.   Don is one of the few Native Craftspeople recreating Wampum work. He uses either True Wampum or Glass Wampum Beads. True Wampum Beads come from the shell of the Quohog or Round Clam. Glass Wampum Beads were first imported around 1702 for trade. Wampum beads were highly prized by the native peoples of the East Coast. “Belts” or strings of Wampum Beads were used not only as ornamentation, but often told a story and were a pledge of the truth of the words being spoken when such “belts” were held or worn.   Each of Don’s “belts” has a meaning and he encourages you to honor and respect these meanings as you bring some of the traditional lifeway’s of the eastern native peoples into your life. Don’s vision is to further expand his horizon and share the gift of creativity the Great Sprit has blessed him with.Each piece of Native American Jewelry Don creates is truly special incorporating centuries of tradition and culture.

 

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