Life Path Bear Clan Ring

The design of this clan ring, depicting a stylized path on the ring’s exterior and an animal clan symbol on its inside, is inspired on an an age-old diagram that demonstrates an essential Teaching of the Midewiwin, the Society of Medicine and Ethics of the Anishinaabe Peoples. This Teaching dictates that each person has a path to follow, called mino-miikana bimaadiziwin, the True Path of Life, a capricious trail with many digressions (dangers and temptations) traveling over four “hills”: infancy, youth, adulthood, and old age. This trail of life was originally depicted by the ancestors on sacred birch bark scrolls, as a stylized path with seven or nine digressions or lines leading from life’s main trail. Kept safely within the caches of the Mide spiritual practices, the teachings of the True Path of Life have been passed down for many centuries.


For an individual, to depart from mino-miikana bimaadiziwin and not return is equivalent to death. But since digression has rarely a permanent character, he or she is expected to withdraw annually in vigil and prayer, to ask the Aadizoogaanag (Spirit Grandfathers) for guidance, and to review his or her life to determine whether he or she is still on the true path…

Clan ring product information:

Title: Makomiikana (The Bear Trail)
Type: Ojibwe-style graphic overlay Life Path ring with bear clan symbol inside
Materials: 14K white gold with a 14K red gold interior
Width: 0.135 inch / 8 mm
Price: from 1,296 USD* / 1,417 CAD* 
Item #  9-5 G

Nooke Doodem ring executed in sterling silver:**
Price from: 405 USD* / 445 CAD* 
Item #  9-5 S
Prices are indicative and depend on ring sizes, the current gold or silver price, and the actual currency rates. 
*Shipping costs included, US and Canadian tax rates excluded .Please note that persons who hold a Canadian First Nations status card and live and work on their reserve are generally tax exempt.         
**With oxidized/blackened Mide Life Road and bear paw design 

SCROLL DOWN to read about the symbolism of this clan ring


PLEASE NOTE: The cost of precious metals is fluctuating weekly. Although prices on this website are being updated on a regular base, they are merely indicative. Contact us for a customized price quotation if you find a set of wedding or clan rings or a piece of jewelry you are interested in ordering. Please do not forget to mention the item number and the exact ring sizes in case you ask for a price quotation for wedding rings or clan rings.

Some considerations when measuring ring sizes:

Professional sizing methods are more reliable and accurate than online or at-home methods. Professional sizing can be done at a local reputable jeweler.

It is important to take into account the width of your ring band as wider bands typically require a larger size to fit comfortably. It is therefore always best to be sized with a professional jeweler's ring sizer of the same width as the one you intend to purchase.

The best size is usually the ring that fits snugly and gives a little resistance when you take it off. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

To the Haudenosaunee, the People of the Longhouse, the Bear Clan people are known as Medicine People, the healers of the Nation. Tradition has it that the Bear Clan people, called Ohkwá:ri by the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk), Ohkwá:li by the Onayotekaono (Oneida) and Hodidjioiñi’'g by the Onondowahga (Seneca), were given the gift of Medicine by an elder woman who had the knowledge of all the medicine plants on Earth.


Nooke ("bear's foot") is the name that the Anishinaabeg Peoples use for the Anishinaabe Bear Clan, which is the most numerous of their warrior clans. To the Ojibweg, Oodaawaag, and Bodéwadmiik, Makwa the bear is a powerful and respected bawaagan (grandfather-appearing-in-dreams), who chose the earth walk as a spiritual leader in order to show the People the way into the dream world and teach their mashkikiiwininiwag (Medicine People) the medicinal use of herbs. As bears personify their lodge, members of the Midewiwin follow makomiikana “the bear path,” which contains certain rituals in order to advance from a lower to a higher degree in their Society. The ancestors chose Makwa to represent the laws of Truth and Bravery and to represent the Warrior doodem, in charge of defense. Bear Clan People are the police force and the medics of their Nation. Bear clan members have always served and protected their communities and since they traditionally spend much time outdoors they have great knowledge of medicinal plants and herbs used for treating minor diseases and infections. Traditionally, bear clan members are known for their thick black hair that never whitens even in old age.


According to the Midewiwin, the bear personifies their Lodge; it is Makwa who guards the eastern door of the Midewigaan, the ceremonial lodge of the Midewiwin, as he protects the healing ceremonies and sacred rituals that are being performed inside the lodge. But Makwa is also symbolic of the Anishinaabeg themselves: both bear and humans “walk the bear path” both inside and outside the lodge.  Humans have always mirrored themselves in Makwa's yearly pattern of hibernation, isolation, and emerging with new life in the spring. This is why still today certain initiation rituals, puberty rites, and ceremonies of the Midewiwin follow this cyclic pattern and invoke the bear's power of renewal.


That the Anishinaabeg chose Makwa the bear to be a symbol of guardianship and motherhood stems from the origin story of the first Anishinaabeg, about how a mother bear volunteered to give her life to the first twins whom Giizhigookwe (Sky Woman) had created and lowered to the Turtle Island/Earth; when the twins nearly died from malnutrition after Sky Woman’s breasts had dried up, the bear, who took pity on them, saved their lives by offering solid nourishment in the form of her meat. And from the time of her sacrifice, when hunters take the life of a bear, it is customary to pay tribute to its spirit; in the old days, oftentimes its skull would be placed in a tree above the camp or village so that its spirit continued to watch over the Anishinaabeg...