I’m beginning to like motifs like this. Rich in color. Especially motifs that tell a story. This is the THUNDERBIRD…
Many Americans Indians tribes share in common the legend of a massive winged creature that is assumed to be larger than a condor; the great ‘Thunderbird’ (or Bird Lightning).
The Indians north west of America said that the bird was accompanied by lightning storms and lightning was projected from his eyes. It was said that he was feeding killer whales. Miami Indians call Piasa, or “man eater” and believed that the bird needed sacrifices or he would start attacking the whole community.
Lightning birds were also seen as spirits with a form of positive energy attacking monsters. The Ojibway Indians of the Great Lakes said that the bird was fighting Mishipish lightning, a resident snake-like monster in the lake. The bird Lightning won the battle and went with the snake in its talons, thunder and lightning marked the event. The Iroquois, however, saw the lightning bird as the fire keeper. The Iroquois also had a ‘Thunderbird’ called ‘Oshadagea’ or Dew Eagle (Eagle of the Dew), and when evil spirits fire attacking the Earth, the Eagle of the Dew fly over the flames, and the dew on its wings extinguish the flames and make the land fertile again.
More recently, the Sioux medicine man, John Lame Deer spoke of the Lightning Bird and told that he believed they had gone to the 4 corners of the earth, the needy from the dirty and impure white civilization. The Sioux called birds Wakinyan Tanka. Lame Deer describes as creatures whose voice was lightning and thunder rumbles small are the voices of their children. They are beings who are a little ghostly, with bodies that are not solid. There was a time when lightning birds, fighting on behalf of human beings, fought with the evil sea monsters. War broke out on Earth for several years until the lightning birds win.