Friday, February 11, 2011

"Da Hah' da nyah" Keepsake Box

The design of this "Da Hah' da nyah" keepsake box is actually a variation of the original Tekendoos design I first created in the mid-1990s.

Measuring 10" long x 5" deep x 2-3/4" high this box has been crafted from FSC certified wood, with the exterior being clad in a wood called Narra. This Narra carries a special provenance in the world of sustainable forest management in that it comes from the last remaining board known to exist of the very first wood to be sustainably harvested on the Solomon Islands in the early to mid 1990s. The interior is felt lined.

The inlay on the top of the box was inspired by an aboriginal glyph of a turtle. This image is symbolic for many reasons, since turtles are one of the oldest forms of life and the shell is symbolic of protection. Because of its great age and slow metabolism the turtle is also associated with longevity.

The wood that was used to make the inlay comes from a tree that is a member of the Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) family of trees. Native American medicine women discovered through many generations of trial, error and observation that this wood has holistic medicinal properties that are conducive to healing. In recent years a scientific basis to support this ancient wisdom has been discovered and these molecules (known scientifically as ellagitannins) are now at the leading edge of research into finding a cure for cancer.

The name Da Hah' da nyah comes from the Seneca Iroquois, and means "he protects the forest". This is appropriate considering that the specific design of this particular box was originally commissioned as a gift for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 2004.

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