Submitted by: Andrea Rhodes
Written in Michif, the first language of both my grandparents
The left side of this mask represents my grandfather, who had a love of nature and a powerful zest for life. I wanted to honor his fight with vascular dementia with a Forget Me Not. In his final months he could not remember who we were, but he knew he loved us and told us so. Eventually he forgot how to speak English and spoke only in Michif until he didn’t speak anymore. He left for the sky world August 2019. His love for my grandmother could move mountains.
The right side of this mask represents my grandmother, who loves harder than any person I know. Her prayers, support and advise have gotten us through the hardest of times. She is our matriarch. She is currently fighting her third bout of a very aggressive breast cancer. She put off any treatments last year to care for my grandfather. I wanted to honor her fight with a pink cancer ribbon.
Together the mask shows their life together. Red for love and happiness, green to show endurance and to represent mother earth who eventually brings all her children home. Braided 4 colours for our mixed/ Metis heritage. The heart beat stitch shows that love exists even when one of us is here and the other is not.
This mask was created for the Breathe community Facebook group – A collection of traditionally crafted masks demonstrating resiliency through 21st century pandemic.
Feel free to visit our Breathe. community group on Facebook to see the full collection of talented artists and their creations during this pandemic.