I have been to the end of the earth.
I have been to the end of the waters.
I have been to the end of the sky.
I have been to the end of the mountains.
I have found none that are not my friends.
Alaska Eagle Cam
All About Eagles
American Bald Eagles
American Eagle & Native American Indian
(One who wandered with Spotted Eagle)
Bald Eagle Information
Eagle War Feathers
Eagle Web Ring
Eagle Stories & Poems
Eagle Stories and Information
Origin of the American Eagle Emblem
Pah-To, The White Eagle
In the days of our grandfathers’ grandfathers, the peaks now called Mount Hood and Mount Adams stood much closer to the Columbia River than they do today. Mount Hood, called Wy-east, stood on the south bank, facing Mount Adams, Pah-To, on the north bank.
Between the two peaks was a bridge, where big rocks formed an arch. One base of the bridge rested on Wy-east, the other on Pah- To. For many years the rock bridge stood there. Beneath it, the waters of the great river flowed peacefully. Canoes went up and down the river without danger from the rocks and rapids that have been there in our time.
Some people in the canoes admired the big arch over their heads and were proud of the Great Power Above that had made it. Other people were afraid. When they were travelling up or down the river, all except the oarsmen would get out of the canoes when they neared the spot. They would walk to the opposite side of the bridge and reenter the canoes there. All would pray for the oarsmen, because the medicine men of the tribe prophesied that some day the bridge would fall.
Our grandfathers and our great-uncles tell us about the long, dark journey under the bridge. They tell us that the river used to be peaceful where we now see rapids and waterfalls.
But mountains did not let the river remain at peace. Each peak was the home of a powerful spirit, and the spirits were jealous of each other. Each was proud of its beautiful home, and each envied the beauty and grandeur of the other. Sometimes they became so jealous and so angry that they threw hot rocks at each other.
The Great Power Above was made unhappy by their frequent quarrels. But he thought that he would let them fight until they grew weary of fighting. Then they would become friends and would stay at peace with each other.
Instead, the mountain spirits became more and more quarrelsome. They became angry more and more often. They shook the earth. They sent forth fire and smoke, and they threw hot rocks across the river. At last the mountain peaks were set on fire, and a lake near the bridge was drained into the river.
Once more the fighting mountains made the earth tremble. This time they shook it so hard that the earth and the trees along the banks of the river slid into the water. The foundations of the bridge were loosened, the arch lost its balance, and the rocks fell into the river. There they made rapids and many waterfalls.
The Great Power Above was so angry that he determined to punish the mountain spirits. He came down from the sky and stood by the river. There he picked up Pah-To and hurled it as far as he could northeast of where he stood. Then he lifted Wy-east and hurled it as far as he could southwest of where he stood.
The mountain peaks stand there today, watching from a distance the Columbia River on its way to the sea.
Hayne Hudjihini (Eagle of Delight)
wife of Oto chief Shaumonekusse
This hand-colored lithograph appeared in an important publication, History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Hayne Hudjihini was one of only eight women whose portraits appeared in this book; by contrast there were 111 men’s portraits in it. In the early nineteenth century, when Indians made official visits to Washington, D.C., a government official commissioned their portraits. Men were considered the leaders of the Indian tribes, and thus their likenesses were commemorated in paintings and in the subsequent three-volume book. The loveliness of Hayne Hudjihini, who accompanied her husband, the Oto chief Shaumonekusse, singled her out for inclusion. (From: Charles Bird King, Women in Art)
King’s own copy of this portrait was given to the White House in 1962, and hangs in the White House Library.
“She was young, tall, and finely formed, her face…was the most beatiful we had met with. Her hair was parted across her forehead, and hung down upon her shoulders. A small jacket of blue cloth was fastened round her shoulder and breast, and a mantle of the same was wrapped around her body.”
This was the way an Indian commissioner recalled the Eagle of Delight after he had met her in the 1830s. A decade before, she had accompanied her husband Shaumonekusse, an Oto chief, to Washington where she had captivated McKinney, the President, his cabinet, and just about everyone she met. She was poised and charming, but she was not the sole love of her warrior chief.
The Eagle of Delight was only one of five wives and their husband was getting on in years when the commissioner met him. That day the women were all “pounding corn, or chattering over the news of the day.” The old chief, while eating, “took the opportunity to disburthen his heart” to the commissioner.
As he moaned, five women were just too much, even the Eagle of Delight. Their “caprices, and the difficulties which he found in maintaining a proper discipline [made it impossible for him] where there were so many mistresses and but one mister.” Unfortunately, no one ever obtained the Eagle of Delight’s version of married life to an old man in a tepee with four other women.
McKenney called her “young, and remarkably handsome….” She died of measles after her return to the west.
The portrait is part of Thomas McKenney & James Hall History of the Indian Tribes of North America., Philadelphia: 1837-1844. It can be seen on the McKenney & Hall Oto – Folio Plates page – Click on image above. There is another version of the same portrait on the Octavo Plates page. Under the patronage of Thomas L. McKenney, Commissioner of Indian Trade, artist Charles Bird King produced 143 portraits of Indian dignitaries, visiting Washington, DC, over a 20-year period. See Choncape (an Oto Chief) for the full story of the McKenney-Hall efforts.
And you can purchase a Hayne-Hudjihini poster for $28.50 at Barewalls Art Prints! We are not selling or promoting this product – just thought it was an interesting detail discovered while researching this beautiful woman from our past.
NOTE: This portrait was identified, on this site, as Eagle og Delight, for many years. Obviously this was a typographical error that occurred sometime/somewhere in the past. The Philadelphia Print Shop site featuring the McKenney-Hall images was recently discovered while updating these pages.
“Oh, Eagle, come with wings outspread in sunny skies.
Oh, Eagle, come and bring us peace, thy gentle peace.
Oh, Eagle, come and give new life to us who pray.”
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“In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world.”
Lame Deer, Minnicoujou
by Brookie Craig BTRU93A@prodigy.com
Recently, I went to the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon and then to the Federal Eagle Repository in Ashland Oregon.
You probably never heard of Nathan Jim, Jr. He was a Yakima Indian who was arrested for illegal possession of Eagle Feathers and parts, by the Feds a couple years ago. He languished in fed jail for l4 months awaiting trial and was finally put on probation for this heinous crime. His lawyer appealed it under the new Religious Freedom act which guarantees Native Americans the right to eagle feathers to practice their religious ceremonies and again lost the appeal..He killed himself fearing that (in his mind) it would mean that the feds would rearrest him and sentence him to jail again.
This so moved his prosecuting US Attorney that he grabbed a bundle of eagle feathers at the Fed Eagle Repository (yes..our tax dollars at work) and drove to the reservation so they can use them for Nathan’s spirit sending ceremony (burial) but arrived too late so Nathan didn’t even get a feather in death.
I decided to continue the challenge to the Feds and drove to Ashland Oregon where they keep dead Eagles (yes..its true they have a Eagle repository there) and with much dread and fear (we NA do not TRUST the feds, having felt their wrath many times in the past) and trembled my way through the door fully expecting the worst. I was met at the counter by a little old lady who is a volunteer there. While holding my Bureau of Indian Affairs ID card in one hand and my Cherokee Tribal Registration card in the other, I tried to remember my Ancestors who would want my voice to be strong and proud. I stood a little taller and I said, “I want a Eagle Feather which is my right under the Religious Freedom Act.” I expected a lightning bolt to come down but instead saw a gentle smile as she softly said, “Of course,” walked over and handed me a a packet of federal forms to fill out with instructions to send in to the Portland office of the US department of Wildlife management.
I smiled as I read that I will have to have signed references from another Elder and Verification from the Bureau of Indian Affairs AND my Tribe to prove that I am, indeed a REAL Indian. References even for a Eagle Feather.
She asks…”Do you want a Bald or a Golden Eagle?” CHOICES!?!? I’m not prepared…”Do you want just a wing..or talons..or the head…or the whole eagle?” WHAT?!?!?! I come in expecting to be arrested for asking for ONE feather and they’re offering me the WHOLE bird!?! I am confused by the offer and She sees that I’m unprepared for them offering me choices of parts of this sacred bird and smiles her suggestion that perhaps I might want to look at the drawings of the parts of the bird, circle what I want and include it with the forms…I am defeated instantly by her gentleness.
I ask her how they send an Eagle to me and she replies through the U.S. Mail..THE MAIL!?! I cannot envision receiving a dead Eagle through the mail and smile at the thought that I might owe postage due upon receipt.
Walking out the door I turn my head and see a stuffed Eagle, sitting silently perched proudly, in a glass cage, on display in the main lobby and overwhelming sadness fills my heart as I realize that another Eagle fell from the sky…a man, also fearful but who stood up for his beliefs, who will never be remembered by anyone for a cause that no one really cares about I guess…and the thought of his falling in vain fills me with a sense of profound grief, for our People believe that the Eagle is the sacred Messenger who brings the messages from our Creator…The thought hits me that no one will hear that message for the Eagle plunged to Mother Earth and perhaps mankind might have had a chance to have heard something sacred, but now…will never know.
There is something terribly tragic in that. I hope someone hears this message and cares about Nathan Jim, Jr. and the Eagle who fell from the sky.
There is something inherently evil in the system of a country, that was founded by people escaping religious persecution, that fills it’s citizens with such fear that they kill themselves over what they consider to be a basic right of religious freedom.
by Randy Macey, Mohawk
When the world was new, the Creator made all the birds. He colored their feathers like a bouquet of flowers. The Creator then gave each a distinct song to sing. The Creator instructed the birds to greet each new day with a chorus of their songs. Of all the birds, our Creator chose the Eagle to be the leader. The Eagle flies the highest and sees the furthest of all creatures. The Eagle is a messenger to the Creator. During the Four Sacred Riguals we will wear an Eagle Feather in our hair. To wear or to hold the Eagle Feather causes our Creator to take immediate notice. With the Eagle Feather the Creator is honored in the highest.
“When the Eagle returns, we will again be a great nation.”
“Our culture is derivative of the natural resources.
If our culture dies, the only reminants are its physical attributes, which will
soon be dispersed to the natural environment.
If that happens, there will be no trace of our living culture.”
Stuart Harris, a Cayuse Indian
“Prophesy says that it is time to share some of the sacred traditions of our culture.
The four colors of man will be coming together to unite and heal.
Creator has given different gifts and responsibilities to each of the four colors.
Ours is to help preserve Earth for all the children. Time is running out. It’s time to act.”
When the earth was created, a great thundercloud appeared on the horizon. Flashing lightning and thundering it’s call, it descended toward the treetops. As the mists cleared, there was an eagle perched on the highest branches. He took flight and flew slowly down to the ground. As he approached the earth, he put forward his foot,
and as he stepped upon the ground, he became a man.
For this reason we recognize the eagle as a messenger of the creator, and rely upon him to carry word of our actions to God. When the eagle comes to where we are working, we know that God cares about us and is watching over us.
by Erik Phelps
Elder Michael Thrasher once told me that the eagle feather has two sides. If the feather had only one side then Eagle could not fly. On one side we find mind/intellect, body/movement and spirit/emotion. Once these are balanced a person is balanced. On the other side there is institution/education (and not just Western style education), process (the movement on one’s path) and ceremony. Once these are balanced then a person’s life is balanced. When the two sides of the feather are balanced then we have proper behaviour.
Funny thing is…….Eagle doesn’t care if its feathers have two sides….
It just opens its wings and flies up to Creator.
by D’Arcy Rheault
“For the medicine man
every breath is a ceremony.
Every step is sacred.”
“I sit on Mother Earth.
I see the dancing fire.
I hear the rustling wind.
I feel the warming of the sun.”
“We must always think of ourselves as sacred,
as coming from the kachinas. Something inside our spirits does
tell us if we get into trouble, or do something wrong.”
Our spirit will tell us:
A Gift to My Brother
Carrying a Message
SYMBOLISM OF THE EAGLE FEATHER
A Lumbee Story
In the beginning, the Great Spirit above gave to the animals and birds wisdom and knowledge and the power to talk to men. He sent these creatures to tell man that he showed himself through them. They would teach a chosen man sacred songs and dance, as well as, much ritual and lore.
The creature most loved by the Great Spirit was the eagle, for he tells the story of life. The Eagle, as you know, has only two eggs, and all living things in the world are divided into two. Here is man and woman, male and female and this is true with animals, birds, trees, flowers and so on. All things have children of two kinds so that life may continue. Man has two eyes, two hands, two feet and he has a body and soul, substance and shadow.
Through his eyes, he sees pleasant and unpleasant scenes, through his nostrils he smells good and bad odors, with his ears he hears joyful news and words that make him sad. His mind is divided between good and evil. His right hand he may often use for evil, such as war or striking a person in anger. But his left hand, which is near his heart, is always full of kindness. His right foot may lead him in the wrong path, but his left foot always leads him the right way, and so it goes; he has daylight and darkness, summer and winter, peace and war, and life and death.
In order to remember this lesson of life, look to the great eagle, the favorite bird of the Great Spirit. The eagle feather is divided into two parts, part light, and part dark. This represents daylight and darkness, summer and winter, peace and war, and life and death. So that you may remember what I have told you, look well on the eagle, for his feathers, too, tell the story of life.
Look at the feathers I wear upon my hand, the one on the right is large and perfect and is decorated; this represents man. The one on my left is small and plain; this represents woman. The eagle feather is divided into two parts, dark and white. This represents daylight and darkness, summer and winter. For the white tells of summer, when all is bright and the dark represents the dark days of winter.
My children, remember what I tell you. For it is YOU who will choose the path in life you will follow — the good way, or the wrong way.
Sharon Locklear, publisher of Metrolina Pow Wow
Where Eagles Fly
by – Helen E. Payne Spencer, Cherokee
The coolness of the mountains
and the deepness of the sea
The blueness of the sky,
The Eagles fly – They do not flee.
The long amber grasses
floating in the breeze,
The smell of sweet flowers
are just thoughts inside of me.
Where men would never venture,
That’s where the Eagles fly
On top of purple mountains
You can hear their shrieking cry.
In the mountains are their nests
Hidden from the prey
They won’t be fools or be victims Or fall along the way.
They fight for life,
these large strong birds,
They won’t let it pass them by.
Examples in our life should be.
To fly where Eagles fly.