Northern Wilds Magazine
Artwork by Sam Zimmerman.
Along the ShoreArts

Ezhi-gikininjiininang gigashiminaan (The Way a Mother Hugs Us)

What started off as a public art commission to promote breastfeeding quickly became a love letter to my nimaamaa (mother) who has shared stories of her time as a child in Gitchi Bitobig (Grand Marais) all my life and made amazing memories for all of us kids along the North Shore.

In this piece, the mother embraces her biibiiyens (baby) holding them to her; I can’t imagine a more intimate embrace. The giizi (sun) rises providing warmth of a new day; the same warmth that only a mother can provide. She has a waabikwaan (strand of a gray hair) to represent the nibwaakaawin (wisdom) of her own mother as she holds her own baby.

There are naanan (five) of us kids, the same number of pines in the background. The makwa doodem (bear clan) protects and provides for the family; he is in the background watching over this new mother as she holds her baby along the shore of Gichi Gami (Lake Superior). Mino-dibishkam (Happy Birthday) Mom!

Follow my studio on Facebook and Instagram @CraneSuperior or if you have ideas for a North Shore painting, you can email me at:

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