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Behind The Jersey

The jersey design contains three main design elements: the eagle clutching lacrosse sticks, the Hiawatha Belt, and the four-colour diamond shaped motif.

The artist, Tracey Anthony, studied drawing and painting at The Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for four years. Tracey has original works in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, The Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, and The Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario.

Tracey’s mother is Mississauga (Ojibway) from the New Credit of the Mississaugas First Nations reserve and his father was Delaware (Lenni Lenape) from the Six Nations reserve in Ontario, Canada. In his artwork, Tracey incorporates Ojibway, Delaware, and Iroquoian influences in conjunction with many mixed media.

4-Colour Diamond Motif

The four-colour diamond shaped motif is loosely based on beadwork and wampum designs. It represents the four colours of the medicine wheel: red, black, white and yellow. The four colours hold many various meanings but in this jersey design, they indicate the four corners of the world and the different peoples of the Earth. Lacrosse was gifted to the native peoples of Turtle Island and has been shared with the world.

 

Eagle Clutching Lacrosse Stick

In Haudenosaunee history, The Peacemaker was sent by the Creator to spread the teachings of having a good mind. With the help of Hiawatha, The Peacemaker taught the laws of peace to the original five nations, the Haudenosaunee. The Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk peoples came together to form The Great League of Peace, The Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Later, the Tuscarora would join the league and the five nations would become six nations. Other nations like the Delaware, Wyandot and Tutelo would also seek peace and inclusion. The Peacemaker planted an Eastern White Pine and named it The Great Tree of Peace. Above the tree an eagle was placed to see far and warn the Confederacy of approaching enemies. Lacrosse, The Creator’s Game, was a gift from the Creator. A medicine game played to raise the spirits of the people. In the design, the eagle carries the lacrosse sticks to the people. He is a protector and messenger to the Creator and the Haudenosaunee. He is carrying the medicine game to lift the spirits of the people.

Hiawatha Belt

The Hiawatha Belt is a national belt of the Haudenosaunee. The belt is named after Hiawatha, the Peacemaker’s helper. In this belt, it records when 5 nations; the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk, buried their weapons of war to live in peace. Each square represents a nation and the line connects each nation in peace. The centre symbol represents Onondaga. Here the peacemaker planted the Tree of Peace. Under this tree the leaders buried their weapons of war beneath it. Then the Peacemaker set forth a method for the Haudenosaunee to gather as one to think about decisions concerning the Haudenosaunee. The Peacemaker set the council fire at Onondaga. At Onondaga is where the nation leaders will meet. He then used the symbolism of the longhouse in the belt. To the west, he named the Senecas as our Western Doorkeepers and the east the Mohawks the Keepers of the Eastern door. As for the Onondagas, he named them the Firekeepers. They are entrusted to ensure that the council fire of the Haudenosaunee continues on. This belt was made when the Haudenosaunee was formed before the first Europeans came to Turtle Island.

 

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