About the artist and the painting

Haŋ mitákuyepi, 

My name is Jewel Azure and I belong to the Spirit Lake Dakota. 

I call this painting Wičáȟpi Wiŋ, which translates to Star Woman. The woman is bearing life, the star within her womb is new life not yet entered into this world. The star in the upper left corner is identical to the one in her belly because this is where our spirits originate from, the star nation.  

The woman can be seen as a young, child- bearing female and can also be seen as an older woman with her beautiful white hair coming to the end of her earthly life. 

When we age and transition from this world to the star nation we are taken into the cup of the Big Dipper (7 stars painted above). The four cupping stars then carry our spirit and guide us to the Milky Way (the streak of lighter paint) which is where we are believed to begin our spirit journey. The other 3 stars stay back and stand guard while the spirit is being carried away. 

Once our Milky Way journey is over, we then become a star in the sky. 

And thus, the life cycle continues. 

As above so below, as within so without.  

I knew this piece had great significance during and after creating it, but now ‘Wičáȟpi Wiŋ’ will be dedicated to Kuŋší Juanita, my grandmother, with the most precious sentiment.  

She made her transition to the star nation on 9.22.20. She was our beautiful white haired matriarch and now will be with the stars and missed tremendously.  

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