Native American Symbols Thunderbird

Want to learn more about Native American symbols of the Thunderbird? Read on for facts and info related to thunderbird Native American symbols…

The Thunderbird is one of the legendary mythological characters that held great reverence amongst the Native Indians. This bird was considered to possess supernatural strength and power. One can find the Native American symbol of the thunderbird to be depicted quite frequently in their art work, music and oral history.

Origins of the Thunderbird

The character of the legendary bird came into existence with the belief that actual thunder was caused by the flapping of the wings of this supersized bird. Consequently this flapping would also cause the wind to move which would drive the clouds that would rain.

The Lakota people would call the thunderbird by the name of Wakjya. The later half of the name meant winged whereas the first half meant sacred. Other tribes had their own titles for the thunderbird. Some tribes would actually have many different names for the same mythological character.

Whereas one may be able to spot certain variances between the ways the thunderbird is depicted in different tribes, there is still strong similarity. Basically the thunderbird is believed to be a bird of large size with the capability to stir up storms and thunder as it rips through the skies. The wing beat of the bird would pull together the clouds whereas the clapping of the wind produced the thunder. The lightening streaks were believed to be the light flashing from its eyes as it blinks. It was also believed to be carrying a glowing snake in its talons.

The Lakota tribe would create masks based on the character of the thunderbird. The masks were extremely colorful and had two curly horns on its head as well. It would even have teeth inside the beak.

There is a difference of opinion with regards to the actual belief that the Native Americans had with respect to the Thunderbird. Some say that it was only a single bird whereas others believe it to be a species. The common belief is that one should not make the thunderbird angry otherwise it would lead to death and destruction.

The lone thunderbird was known as the Nuuh-chah-nulth and it was believed that it resided on the mountains. It was also understood to be a servant of the Great Spirit. It was believed that the only reason the bird would fly was to deliver messages from one spirit to the other.

The species of thunderbirds was attributed with powers of shape shifting. They would tilt their beaks in the form of a mask and move their feathers in a manner so as to appear as a blanket covered with feathers.

The symbol of the thunderbird is sacred. It is positive and should be held in high esteem.

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