Page 4 - River Trading Post - Native Peoples Indian Market Page 2

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Birds...
Water Bird
, symbol of renewal of life, wet
seasons, rivers distant travel, long vision,
wisdom. often inaccurately called
"thunderbird", which is not a Southwestern
tradition, but rather one of the plains people.
In that context, connected with lightning,
thunder and visions. Those who dream of the
thunderbeings must become Heyokas -- those
who live out their dreams backwards (Lakota
tradition) The image has also been modified
and used as the symbol of the Native
American Church, founded by Commanche
Quannah Parker around 1910.
Hummingbirds
(paired), also sometimes
waterbirds, or quail, symbolized in mated
pairs as symbol of devotion, permanence and
eternity, life cycles. These are often modified
in many, very simple forms. Hummingbirds
are particularly known to be ferocious
fighters and defenders of their territory --
many times stroger than their small size
would indicate.
Parrot
, connected with both the sun and with
the coming of the rains. Parrots were
considered carriers of these specific prayers
and would confer blessings. Kept for their
feathers and color, by many Pueblo people
(secured through trade with people to the far
South), and also considered a very expensive
posssesion thereby denoting prosperity.
Crane
, also connected with water and the
end of summer, images of migratory fowl
like Sandhill Cranes are common in pottery
and petroglyphs from the Mimbre culture in
Southwestern New Mexico.
Turkey
, and important food source, also is
mentioned in several Tewa Pueblo stories. Its
feathers have many ritual uses.