Used by many Native American tribes to purify and pray, sage is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants. Sage is burned as a spiritual cleanser before many traditional ceremonies or gatherings. Sage is also burned daily in many Natives homes as they pray and give thanks to the Creator.
Anishinabe (also known as Ojibwe, Ojibwa, or Chippewa) people smudge with sacred herbs such as tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar. Smudging helps us center ourselves with the four sacred herbs. The Ojibwe tribe regards plants as sacred because of their ability to nourish, heal the body, and spiritual cleansing. In Ojibwe, we call sage Bashkodejiibik or Myshkodewusk. These four sacred plants are gifts of the Four Manido (Spirits of the Four Directions). For Ojibwe like Ayasha who live in the traditional way, there are four plants which are especially revered and used in daily living. The creator taught us to use the natural herbs sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, and cedar smoke as a physical reminder to them of this omnipotent presence. It is a sacred and spiritual way of life for Ojibwe people.
Ayasha and her husband go harvest sage throughout Calfornia to use for prayers, ceremony, and cleansing. Incorporating traditional cultures and ways of life such as the use of sage into fabric designs is important to Ayasha. It is necessary for Ayasha to educate her consumers on each product and how she intertwines such a traditional culture into today's modern fashion trends.
Sage has a spicy fresh aromatic smell. Myshkodewusk – Sage represents the West Direction which is male and inanimate. There are over 750 varieties of sage, each region is different in the medicine and composition of the medicine. The aroma of burning sweet grass has a calming effect and thus promotes kind thoughts. When smudging with sweetgrass it is important to honor the hair of mother earth by smudging our own hair with the smoke. Sage (Bashkodejiibik) is of the most important Native American ceremonial plants used for cleansing to clear away negative energy and to attract positive ones.
Woods, T. (2019). The Ojibwe People (Indigenous Knowledge Systems). Retrieved February 8, 2019, from https://www.ibmastery.com/pages/indigenous-knowledge-systems-ojibwe