The Espaniel earring design is used exclusively for the Espaniel Archive Project. This project was started as a way to connect the stories of our ancestors with our beadwork. To date, we have created 4 pieces as part of the project. Dear Uncle Archie is our next feature.
Uncle Archie was known for his charming humour and quick witted demeanour. His heart was big and generous.
In his early life he was sadly sent to residential school - the same school as his mother - in Spanish Ontario. In the third photo featured Archie runs out of line at residential school and his mother (Susan) runs towards him. You can see how Archie's head is shaved. We will never know for sure, but knowing the reputation of this particular school, it can be assumed that young Archie would have been punished for running out of line in this manner. There are not many stories of the residential school experience in our family; the legacy of silence lingered until the passing of each member who attended. However, there is one mysterious story that Archie went to residential school longer than he had to under the name of his brother, to protect his younger sibling. We will never fully know the truth to this story, but what we know about Archie's innately protective nature, it could very well have truth to it.
Sadly, the traumatic situations did not end after residential school as Archie was sent to fight in WW2 at the young age of 19. We don't know much about his time overseas. However, our grandma is rumoured to have a Nazi flag that Archie was gifted because he led the capture of it in a german city.
When the announcement of the war’s end reached his hometown of Biscotasing, the mothers of the soldiers, including our great grandma, were dancing in the streets with joy at the new of their babies coming home🧡
For our Uncle Archie, we wanted to honour his survival of residential school with the colour orange, but recognize the strength he carried that residential school was not all that defined him. We chose to compliment the orange with the brightness of blue and groundedness of brown. The crystals on the bottoms are Carnelian. We chose this crystal not just because of its colour - but also because of it’s qualities. Carnelian is very unique because it has the ability to cleanse other crystals that are near it. It holds a protective and generous energy to share this ability. It reminded us of the pure and lovely spirit of Uncle Archie.