Jim Poitras has been working with the Linden Museum located in Stuttgart, Germany. In appreciation for their work with Jim, and their support of and genuine respect for Native Culture, this page is dedicated to the professionals that work at the museum and to the public that has supported Jim on his journey.
Jim’s regalia tells the story of his journey, and regaining his lost culture as one of the forgotten children of Canada.
Jim speaking at The Linden Museum, October 25, 2011
Jim was asked to be a speaker at the Linden Museum`s 100th anniversary exhibition, speaker. Many museum curators and artifact keepers from around the world, throughout Europe, USA and South America attended this event.
Donation of Regalia to the Linden Museum for permanent collection 2009 – before event
The Film Screening and Book Presentation
Within the “American Days” the Linden Museum in Stuttgart organized two very special events with Jim Poitras, who has been connected to the Museum for many years. Jim`s loved ones and many friends came to support him on this great day.
The event began with a film screening of the documentary film “The Awakening Within: One Man‘s Inner Journey” (Canada 2004). Then a presentation by Jim of the book “The Drum Calls Softly” written by David Bouchard, a Canadian writer of children’s books with the illustrations of Jim Poitras followed, with a brief question and answer period.
Photos below courtesy of Jim Palik, photographer
German writer, Heike Schaffrin from Köln, Germany
The second event occurred later in the afternoon, “Mein besonderes Geschenk an das Lindenmuseum” (“My special gift to the Linden Museum”). Jim Poitras presented his traditional dancing clothes (Golden Age Man`s Traditional Regalia) to the curator of the North America section of the Linden Museum, Dr. Sonja Schierle for the permanent collection. Dr. Sonja Schierle offered a tobacco gift in return showing great respect for the gift.. Jim Poitras thanked the Creator, his Cree- Elders and his family who accompany and support him on his way. Jim sang the honor song because it was Mothers Day, so he dedicated the song to his mother and all mothers. He also sang a song to Mother Earth, accompanied by his drum.
The Donation of Regalia
Photos below courtesy of Anatol Dreyer, photogragher
Jim spoke to those in attendance in the audience, explaining the history and significance of the different pieces of his regalia and the significance of each piece in Native Cultural Traditions. Each piece of regalia is considered sacred and was handled by Jim with great respect.
Jim Poitras showed his fan made of eagle feathers, which is sacred in Native Culture. The eagle flies high into the air and builds the connection between the dancer and the sky/heaven, to the Creator.
Eagle feathers also decorated many of the other pieces of the donated regalia. Jewelry on the dancing clothes of Jim Poitras there are put on eagle feathers in a circle and the skull of a beaver, a gift of a sundancer. The feather hood is made of eagle feathers, too. The eagle feathers are holy. If a feather falls down during a dance nobody is allowed to touch it and it must be brought out of the circle in a special ceremonial act. Also the frays of the leggings point up the connectedness to the element air. The shells on the ankles – in this case sheep bells – build the connection to the earth and tell the Creator the presence of the dancer. The moccasins with the artful pearl embroidery Jim Poitras got from an Elder in exchange for one of his paintings. The jewelry chest of dried and painted bones of the bison is a gift of a Finnish Sami.
Photos below courtesy of Anatol Dreyer, photographer
Jim Poitras painted the shield himself with the symbol of the White Buffalo who has a sacred meaning for Native Americans. The arrival of the White Buffalo was predicted generations ago and it announces the arrival of a better time, it stands for hope and peace for a better understanding of the peoples. The White Buffalo was born in 2002.
The talking staff is decorated with the feathers of the legs of the eagle and the scent of sweet grass, in addition with shells of horn hoof of the deer. There are scarves fastened on the stuff, each of them has its own story, too. Jim Poitras indicated especially to the scarf with the inscription “Canada”, which symbolizes that he is a Canadian and that he is proud to be a Canadian. The one who holds the talking staff in his hands is allowed to speak while the others have to listen without to interrupt the speaker.
There belongs also a suede shirt of deer to the present to the Linden Museum which is currently in Canada. At the conclusion Jim Poitras thanked the present people one more time. From now on a part of him and his culture will live in the Linden Museum.
Jim’s Regalia will be part of the Linden Museum 100th anniversary exhibition, celebrating the history of the museum, from Sept.,17th, 2011 to Jan., 8th, 2012. It will continue to remain a part of their First Nation Artifact Collection.