How the Eagle Inspired These Two-Spirit Jewellery Designers

Photography courtesy of Indi City

How the Calgary-based brand’s laser-cut “Eagle Feather” earrings come to life.

“Ancestral medicine is an idea that we can all share,” says Angel Aubichon, one-half of the Two-Spirit couple behind Indi City. “Medicine is anything that brings one health and a connection to the source. Beadwork is medicine, cultural teachings are medicine and connection to the land is medicine.”

The “Eagle Feather” earrings by Indi City are part of its Ancestral Medicine Collection, which features cultural emblems such as the medicine wheel. Three mismatched cuts of acrylic are connected by metal rings, which results in an enticing sense of movement. Looks include a mix of patterns and colourways from metallics to matte textures.

person wears indi city eagle feather earrings with hair braded out of their face and red shirt. they are in nature
Photography courtesy of Indi City

“Eagle feathers are sacred to our community,” says Aubichon. “Eagles soar the highest, and we regard them as grandfathers and grandmothers. Both Alex and I received eagle feathers as a sort of rite of passage, and we wanted to share that in a respectful way by commemorating those personal stories. This particular design comes from an experience I had when I received my spirit name. I wanted to put tobacco at an eagle’s nest we had found, and while I was getting ready to place my prayers by the tree where the nest was located, I looked down and saw the biggest, most beautiful and perfect eagle feather lying there at my feet. It felt like a gift from the Creator and the Ancestors. This is the same feather that we use to smudge our home and our family.”

It starts out with a rough sketch, says Aubichon. “Alex perfects it into digital copy, and then we laser cut a sample.” Aubichon and Alex Manitopyes’s home has a separate studio for each of them, but their team works from the Ancestor Atelier — a two-bedroom mid-century-modern home five minutes away. Designs are produced in limited quantities (that typically sell out quickly, natch), and Aubichon says there’s even more to come in terms of eco-mindedness: “Currently, we source our materials from a variety of manufacturers. But in the future, we hope to create our own materials from scraps and offcuts.”

This article first appeared in FASHION’s Summer issue. Find out more here

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