Several Native American tribes of the Great Plains, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Great Lakes regions all have myths and legends about the Thunderbirds. votes, 34 comments. 41K subscribers in the Genshin_Lore community. A community for discussing the lore in Genshin Impact (原神). Native American legend has the Thunderbird as a large vulture or eagle-like bird with a wingspan of 20 feet or larger. A lot of tribes believed. COMODO DRAGON BENCHMARK Интернет-магазин для малышей г. Детский интернет для Вас заказы 7. Со временем на сайте через интернет-магазин.
According to the Menominee tribe, the Thunderbirds live on an enormous mountain that floats in the sky. These majestic creatures are known to control the elements rain, hail, etc. They are said to find great pleasure in fighting and the accomplishment of impressive feats. These Thunderbirds are known to be enemies of the Misikinubik The Great Horned Snake and are the reason mankind has not been devoured or overrun.
The Menominee Thunderbirds are also known to be messengers of the Great Sun and were highly respected by these peoples. They lived in the four directions and migrated to the land of the Ojibwe during the spring with other birds. During this time they fought the underwater spirits. They stayed until the fall when the most dangerous season for the underwater spirits had passed. In the fall, they migrated south with other birds. The Ojibwe Thunderbird legends also suggest that these creatures were responsible for punishing humans who broke moral rules.
As the anger of the Thunderbird is known to be extreme, this would have been great incentive to maintain good moral conduct. The Thunderbird of the Winnebago people suggests that this creature also had the power to grant people great abilities. Their traditions dictate that any man who has a vision of the Thunderbird during a fast will one day become a mighty war chief. Arapaho mythology sees the Thunderbird as a summer creature as did many of the tribes of the Great Plains.
According to their legends, the Thunderbird was an opposing force to the White Owl the creature that represented winter. The Algonquian Peoples had deep reverence for the Thunderbird in their culture. According to their legends, Thunderbirds were ancestors of the human race. According to their myths, Thunderbird ruled over the upperworld and the Great Horned Serpent ruled over the underworld.
Thunderbird protects humans from the Great Horned Serpent and its followers by throwing lighting at underwater creatures. Like many other tribes, the Shawnee people also believed the Thunderbird could change its appearance in order to interact with people. Their beliefs, however, detail that Thunderbirds appeared as boys and could be identified by their tendency to speak backwards.
The Thunderbird is considered to be a mighty creature of enormous size. It is often said that a Thunderbird is able to pick up a whale in its talons. The frequency with which whales are mentioned in these legends may suggest that whales were a favorite food source of hungry Thunderbirds. Thunderbirds were also known to have bright and colorful feathers that were very pleasing to look at.
Each flap of their wings allowed them to cover great distances and caused a mighty thundering sound — which likely inspired their name. These creatures were also known to have teeth and claws. Though this was often an imposing sight, it was also seen as comforting because the Thunderbird was known to be a great protector. Varying legends tend to differ at this point when it comes to storytelling.
There are some who say that the Thunderbird carried lakes of water upon its back. Those who tell this version of the story say that this is where the rains that nourish the lands come from. There are also stories that suggest the Thunderbird had another face in the middle of its chest.
There are several variations of this part of the myth — it is uncertain if the face is avian-like or if the face that was seen was a misidentification of two glowing snakes that the creature was said to carry with it. Other versions of the Thunderbird myth disagree. It is their opinion that the Thunderbird was able to create lighting by simply blinking its eyes.
At one point in time, it was said there was a great flood that covered a significant portion of the Earth. During this flood, Thunderbird is said to have fought Mimlos-Whale. Their fight was long and brutal. The Thunderbird would grab Mimlos-Whale with his mighty talons and drag the creature to his mountain nest. Mimlos-Whale was tricky however, and would manage to escape the nest and find refuge in the water again. Every time Thunderbird captured Mimlos-Whale, there would be a great fight between the two beasts.
The noise that resulted from their fight was so great it shook the mountains. Their battle was so brutal that they uprooted all the trees in any area they fought in. The fight between Thunderbird and Mimlos-Whale continued for a great period of time until finally Thunderbird was tired and allowed Mimlos-Whale to escape into the depths of the ocean. It is said that this is why the killer whale can still be found in the ocean today as Mimlos-Whale is thought to be represented by this whale.
Although the fight between the two creatures ended with no clear victor, the memory of their battle can still be seen on the face of the Earth. The places where they fought still remain bare of trees to this day and are thought to be the prairies that are found on the Olympic Peninsula. While there, he saw a great whale that the Thunderbird had carried into the prairie. When he returned to his village, he told his people of his encounter with Thunderbird and showed them the wing as evidence.
The wing was as long as a canoe paddle and it did not take them long before they had come to believe the hunter. He then told the people that he had seen a whale in the prairie and that if they went quickly, they would be able to cut up the whale and eat it themselves.
A great number of beach and river tribes came in canoes and approached the dead carcass of the whale. In their greedy excitement, they cut up the whole whale. By the end of the evening, the entire whale had been cut into pieces and was being cooked by the people. They were satisfied with this feat, though their satisfaction would not last long. Suddenly, the sky became dark and the clouds began to draw together. This was the sign that Thunderbird was returning and was angry with the people for stealing his food while he was sleeping.
He caused a great storm to take place. At first the storm was only rain. The hail plummeted to the ground with brutal speed and killed everyone on the prairie below. This caused a ridge of large rocks to be formed. This ridge reached from one edge of the prairie to the other end. It is said that this ridge still exists. If one looks closely, they can see the head and ribs of the great whale that was stolen from Thunderbird. It is said that once, Thunderbird became so angry with the people that he caused a great flood to occur.
The oceans rose so high that the Quileute were forced to get into their boats to take shelter. The oceans rose so high that even the tops of the mountains were covered with water. This went on for four days. After four days the Quileute sailed with no sun or landmarks to guide them. When the waters receded again for four days it was discovered that many of the Quileute had been scattered. When they found land again, some of the Quileute found that they were in Hoh.
Others discovered themselves in Chemakum. Both of these groups decided to stay there to live out their lives. Very few of the people forced to flee were able to find their way back to Quileute. It is said that the Thunderbird was discovered when two warriors of the Passamaquoddy people wanted to find the origin of thunder. They embarked on a journey that took them north until they reached a large mountain.
These mountains were magical and were able to pull apart slowly and then smash together again quickly. The warriors crossed the mountain pass one after another, each vowing to the other to continue if they were unable to succeed in their mission. The first warrior made it through the mountain pass, but the second warrior was crushed by the colliding rocks. Once on the other side of the mountain pass, the first warrior found a large plain with a group of wigwams. Near the wigwams, there was a group of Indians who were playing a game.
For a while they played, but after some time had passed they decided it was time for them to go. They went into the wigwams and put on wings, then flew back over the mountains to the south. There were, however, a few of the elder men that still remained in the camp. When they saw the warrior, they questioned him to discover who he was and why he had wandered into their camp. Traditionally, tribal elders teach younger generations how to navigate through the emotional struggles of life by giving some explanation or insight into the purpose of fear and their struggles with change.
Wakinyan Tanka, the great Thunderbird, lives in his tipi on top of a mountain in the sacred Paha Sapa, the Black Hills. No, I think the thunder beings have retreated to the farthest end of the earth, where the sun goes down, where there are no tourists or hot dog stands. The Wakinyan hates all that is dirty.
He loves what is clean and pure. His voice is the great thunderclap, and the smaller rolling thunders that follow his booming shouts are the cries of his children, the little thunderbirds. Lame Deer There are four large, old Thunderbirds. The Great Wakinyan of the West is the first and foremost among them.
He is clothed in clouds. His body has no form, but he has giant, four-jointed wings. He has no feet, but enormous claws. He has no head, but a huge, sharp beak with rows of big, pointed teeth. His color is black. The second Wakinyan of the North is red. The third Thunderbird of the East is yellow. The fourth thunderbird of the South is white, though there are some who say that its colors are blue. That one has no eyes or ears, yet he can see and hear.
How that can be is a mystery. From time to time a holy man catches a glimpse of a Wakinyan in his dreams, but always only a part of it. No one ever sees the Thunderbird whole, not even in a vision, so the way we think a Thunderbird looks is pieced together from many dreams and visions.
Some modern sightings and cryptozoological accounts tell of terrifying encounters of giant bird-like creatures carrying people off and building nests out of their bones. Thunderbirds stand for rain, and fire, and the truth, and as I said before, they like to help the people.
In contrast, Unktehi, the great water monster, did not like human beings from the time they were put on this earth. Unktehi was shaped like a giant scaley snake with feet. She had a huge horn coming out on top of her head, and she filled the whole of the Missouri River from end to end. The little water monster, who lived in smaller streams and lakes, likewise had no use for humans.
Some attempt to correlate the various stories from different tribes of indigenous people into modern Thunderbird sightings. However, when one looks a little more critically at these legends, it is clear they serve a much different purpose. The Yaqui tribe also has its own legend describing a giant mythical bird.
Every morning he would fly out in search of food. He caught men, women, and little children and carried them back to Otam Kawi to eat. In those days the people always were watchful. Rather than describing a Thunderbird, this account more closely resembles a creation story. The story follows the life of a boy whose parents were taken by the giant bird during the time when the earth was still unsafe for people. The grandfather makes the boy a set of arrows and a bow and as time goes by, the boy becomes a better hunter and grows stronger as he ages.
I saw all of his colored feathers and his big eyes. After being equipped with a new set of arrows and a stronger bow, the boy sets off on his journey to Otam Kawi. He lives there. He only goes away to catch the people. He always comes back there. You will see there a great pile of bones. He pulled out a handful of feathers and threw them into the air and the feathers become owls.
With another handful of feathers he made smaller owls. With four handfuls of feathers, he made four classes of owls. In the same way, with other handfuls of feathers, he made birds of every kind, crows, and roadrunners.
He threw the feathers and they became birds of different colors. When he had finished all of the feathers, he cut off a piece of meat from a dead bird.
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Also, like the Loch Ness Monster, it has even been linked to the age of dinosaurs, suggesting it was from a remnant population of pterosaurs. Of primary interest here is to attempt to identify the source of other thunderbird stories, identifying the one that actually comes closest to a source naturalistic myth as well as to try to understand this in relation to ancient or traditional artistic representations of the thunderbird in America.
The mythology of the thunderbird is wide and various across America and Canada, and it could be collected and studied without it providing anything more than a vivid study of ethnographic variety. Perhaps the most reliable telling of interest is that of the Passamaquoddy Indians around what is now Maine and New Brunswick.
This is a legend of long, long ago times. Two Indians desired to find the origin of thunder. They traveled north and came to a high mountain. These mountains performed magically. They drew apart, back and forth, then closed together very quickly. If I am caught, you continue to find the origin of thunder.
On the other side, the first Indian saw a large plain with a group of wigwams, and a number of Indians playing a ball game. This was how the Passamaquoddy Indian discovered the homes of the thunderbirds. Who are you? The old men deliberated how they could help him.
They decided to put the lone Indian into a large mortar, and they pounded him until all of his bones were broken. They molded him into a new body with wings like thunderbird, and gave him a bow and some arrows and sent him away in flight. They warned him not to fly close to trees, as he would fly so fast he could not stop in time to avoid them, and he would be killed.
The lone Indian could not reach his home because the huge enemy bird, Wochowsen, at that time made such a damaging wind. Thunderbird is an Indian and he or his lightning would never harm another Indian. But Wochowsen, great bird from the south, tried hard to rival Thunderbird. So Passamaquoddies feared Wochowsen, whose wings Glooscap once had broken, because he used too much power.
A result was that for a long time air became stagnant, the sea was full of slime, and all of the fish died. But Glooscap saw what was happening to his people and repaired the wings of Wochowsen to the extent of controlling and alternating strong winds with calm. Legend tells us this is how the new Passamaquoddy thunderbird, the lone Indian who passed through the cleft, in time became the great and powerful Thunderbird, who always has kept a watchful eye upon the good Indians.
Clark This one is particularly interesting because it provides the actual origin of the thunderbird, and contains other relevant information about its identification. This is specifically in the episode relating to the clashing mountain. The clashing mountain has also been a relevant feature of mythology elsewhere, specifically in Norse myth concerning the story of the Mead of Poetry.
It is relevant because it relates to the changing phases of the Moon. In the Passamaquoddy myth it also suggests what one might see on the Moon: in this case, the traveler who did not make it through but was crushed between the rocks. This is shown in Figure 1. While this implies that the myth was naturalistic, it also reveals how the myth itself was intended to explain what was apparent to people when they were already questioning what the Moon was.
In this case it was then part of an overall explanation for the night sky. There are a number of anthropological and ethnic artistic designs that reveal a bird of some kind. Traditional artistic representations of this ancient motif appear frequently in modern Native artwork see Figure 2. There are other representations that appear as rock paintings or rock carvings petroglyphs ; a couple from Saskatchewan are shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4. These artistic depictions are particularly relevant because they resemble most a constellation of stars that appears in the southern skies as viewed from North America, which will be referred to hereafter as the Great Thunderbird constellation.
This is shown in Figure 5. It can be identified just above Scorpius, incorporating some of the constellations of Ophiuchus, Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda. Since none can reveal a clear true, general, or definitive image of the thunderbird, and as it is not even known if those who made the art were even aware that it derived from the constellation, the details may only have come through an artistic descent that encouraged largely faithful reproduction of characteristics.
Thus considering that the star pattern represents the original representation, comparisons can be made to better reveal which more resemble it, and whether older ones are more true to it than later ones. Certainly later artistic iconography and stylistic license has persuaded a freer expression of the exact appearance of the bird.
As it is, the characteristics that define visual representations of the thunderbird are that it has a very long wing-span, with wings that often are broken down on the sides, while at the bottom is either a tail or two feet. The head is preferentially set looking to the left its own right , which matches well with the constellation image. However, varying depictions do not negate the identification, since there is no way to know where the artists were getting their information.
Even the ancient rock art could be millennia from the original identification of the constellation of stars. It has been suggested that some depictions of the Thunderbird are equivalent to the constellation of Cygnus the swan. There is no reason to think that there could only have been one Thunderbird constellation, in fact the myth suggests that the region of the night sky was filled with Thunderbirds. Different rock images might well represent different constellations.
However, the specific shape of Cygnus does not correspond well to the traditional design of the thunderbird nor to depictions on rock. One artistic portrayal gives some clues as to the identification of the Great Thunderbird constellation, and is shown in Figure 6. This drawing also shows a secondary bird figure, which is also presumably a thunderbird, this constellation, the Long Thunderbird, can also be identified in the night sky, more often directly overhead, as shown in Figure 7.
There are some clues from this that they represent the constellations shown. Further pertinent to its importance is that the arrival of the Great Thunderbird constellation is in the spring, perhaps seen first around the middle of March, while at midnight it gains its highest prominence around the first of June. Thus the thunderbird would have appeared in the night sky during the same time that the spring thunderstorms would arrive.
The constellation would have been pretty well gone by October. This appearance is especially relevant as to how this giant bird image was connected to thunderstorms. One other piece of evidence is shown in the pictograph in Figure 3. By the end of the evening, the entire whale had been cut into pieces and was being cooked by the people. They were satisfied with this feat, though their satisfaction would not last long. Suddenly, the sky became dark and the clouds began to draw together.
This was the sign that Thunderbird was returning and was angry with the people for stealing his food while he was sleeping. He caused a great storm to take place. At first the storm was only rain. The hail plummeted to the ground with brutal speed and killed everyone on the prairie below. This caused a ridge of large rocks to be formed. This ridge reached from one edge of the prairie to the other end. It is said that this ridge still exists. If one looks closely, they can see the head and ribs of the great whale that was stolen from Thunderbird.
It is said that once, Thunderbird became so angry with the people that he caused a great flood to occur. The oceans rose so high that the Quileute were forced to get into their boats to take shelter. The oceans rose so high that even the tops of the mountains were covered with water. This went on for four days. After four days the Quileute sailed with no sun or landmarks to guide them. When the waters receded again for four days it was discovered that many of the Quileute had been scattered.
When they found land again, some of the Quileute found that they were in Hoh. Others discovered themselves in Chemakum. Both of these groups decided to stay there to live out their lives. Very few of the people forced to flee were able to find their way back to Quileute. It is said that the Thunderbird was discovered when two warriors of the Passamaquoddy people wanted to find the origin of thunder. They embarked on a journey that took them north until they reached a large mountain. These mountains were magical and were able to pull apart slowly and then smash together again quickly.
The warriors crossed the mountain pass one after another, each vowing to the other to continue if they were unable to succeed in their mission. The first warrior made it through the mountain pass, but the second warrior was crushed by the colliding rocks. Once on the other side of the mountain pass, the first warrior found a large plain with a group of wigwams.
Near the wigwams, there was a group of Indians who were playing a game. For a while they played, but after some time had passed they decided it was time for them to go. They went into the wigwams and put on wings, then flew back over the mountains to the south.
There were, however, a few of the elder men that still remained in the camp. When they saw the warrior, they questioned him to discover who he was and why he had wandered into their camp. He told them of his desire to discover the origin of thunder. The elders talked for a while until they were able to decide on a way to help him understand the origin of thunder.
After some time, they called the warrior over and put him inside a large mortar. They then pounded all of his bones until they were broken and created a new body for the warrior — complete with wings like the Thunderbird. Then, they gave the young warrior a bow and arrows and sent him on his way. This is how the Passamaquoddy warrior became a Thunderbird. Legend claims that he still keeps guard over good Indians and is a mighty protector. According to legend, the Thunderbird Wakan Tanka was the grandson of the great sky spirit that had created the world and brought people into existence.
All would have been peaceful if the water spirit Unktehi not gotten involved. Unktehi thought people were parasites and she and her followers the Unktehila tried to drown all humans. Terrified, the people retreated to the highest hill they could find and prayed for help. Wakan Tanka heard their pleas and came to fight Unktehi so she would leave the people in peace.
Wakan Tanka caused lightning to split open the earth. This drained Unktehi and the Unktehila into the cracks, far away from mankind. People who think the story of the Thunderbird is figurative often point to the story of the travelers who went in search of Thunderbird. In this story, there are two travelers looking to discover the origin of thunder. When they look to the part of the story that tells us one of the travelers is crushed between two rocks, some scholars are convinced that this is a metaphor used to discuss the semi-visible shape of the man in in the moon as a crushed Indian warrior.
If this warrior is a fixture in the moon, it could mean that the Thunderbird is a constellation. There is one pictograph in particular that intrigues researchers for its resemblance to a stellar feature that many believe could be a supernova. While many rely on a more theological explanation, there are some who believe the stories of Thunderbird are inspired by real creatures that were witnessed by the early Native Americans.
The explanation for which creature this may be tends to vary, but tends to lead to the suggestion that the Thunderbird could be a cryptid as well as a legendary creature. Those who point to the pterodactyls are insistent that the early Native Americans were known to inhabit the Americas at a point in time where they could have encountered one of these creatures if it had managed to survive past the estimated extinction of the dinosaurs.
While teeth do not always appear in the legend of the Thunderbird, there are many totem poles with carvings of the creature that suggest it does have teeth. The major drawback to the pterodactyl being the source of the myths is that the wings of the Thunderbird and wings of the pterodactyl appear to be very different. The pterodactyl is thought to have wings that are similar to that of a bat. The Thunderbird, however, is thought to have wings that are feathered. There are some that still argue the pterodactyl could be a likely candidate because the wings could have been a similar color and the Native tribes may have simply observed these creatures from a distance without ever interacting with them up close.
Details in the legend, however, contradict this. These two facts seem to eliminate the pterodactyl entirely. There may, however, be an alternative explanation. Species of megafauna are known to have existed in the Americas during the time that the first peoples would have been settling on the continent and it is possible that a species of megafauna is responsible for the very detailed descriptions of the Thunderbird.
This is one of the more commonly accepted theories as to the origin of the Thunderbird — especially those who are hoping to find a cryptid. Though it extremely uncommon that a cryptid of this size would be able to stay hidden from modern eyes this long, the possibility still proves to be intriguing to many pseudoscientists. Sign in. Forgot your password? Get help. Create an account. Password recovery. You May Also Like:. Gigantes Prof. Geller - October 15, 0.
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