Tattoo- Ojibwa Proverb

“No tree has branches so foolish as to fight amongst themselves.”

The informant had this Ojibwa Proverb tattoo onto her ribs.  She decided that she wanted this tattoo because she believes in the message.  She says that the message share such truth.  She believes that we should live in peace rather than in a constant state of war.  The informant believes in this proverb is so powerful that she had it tattooed onto her body.  She says the saying stood out to her amongst the other sayings.  The informant had the tattoo done while she was studying abroad in Greece.  She choose to include the olive branch to symbolize both Greece and peace.

I agree with the informant on the value of this proverb.  This proverb is taken from the Ojibwa tribe and promotes the ideals of peace and harmony.  The informant’s idea of utilizing a olive branch to compliment the quote is fitting as the olive branch is the folkloric, cultural, and biblical symbol for peace.  In the Bible, Noah is given an olive branch from God after the flood symbolizing the end of the flood, which represents turmoil.

This proverb is quoted in several blogs and articles.  However, I found that it also is published in a song called “Luminous” by Stratovarius.  The verse with the proverb is as follows:

No tree has branches so foolish
As to fight among themselves
We share the same biology
We are one
We are luminous

This song maintains the message of the proverb and promotes the idea of peace.  We are a part of mankind, like branches are a part of a tree.  And the branches do not fight, so we must not fight as well.

Tolkki, Timo, Timo Kotipelto, Jari Kainulainen, Jens Johansson, Jörg Michael, and Riku Niemi. “Luminous.” Stratovarius. Sanctuary, 2005. MP3.