Onaman Kendaagozid

“For thousands of years the Anishinabek and Cree people have been using a Red Ochre paint called Onaman. It is made from red ochre, animal or fish fat, and other ingredients such as urine and duck or seagull eggs. These are cooked together on a low heat. The longer you cook the paint the redder it becomes. In the language the word “Onaman” refers to the action of thickening something. There are many types of Onaman, most of them use types of Fungi, and each of them thickening agents, particularly in the clotting of blood in wounds.” – Isaac Murdoch

On February 7, 2015 the Onaman Collective hosted a gathering at Serpent River First Nation to learn about Sacred Paint. Over 100 people attended, some from hundreds of kilometers away. The gathering was ceremonial and lasted for eight hours. No photos were permitted because of the ceremony, but it was a moving experience for everyone involved.

Our ongoing commitment to Onaman involves research into various oral histories of the use of Onaman, harvesting ochre & making of this sacred paint. We are also committed to mentoring youth to learn about it.


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