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The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in North American indigenous peoples' history and culture. It's considered a "supernatural" bird of power and strength. It is especially important, and richly depicted, in the art, songs and oral histories of many Pacfic Northwest Coast cultures, but is also found in various forms among the peoples of the American Southwest and Great Plains. Thunderbirds were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of American prehistory.

The Thunderbird's name comes from the common belief that the beating of its enormous wings causes thunder and stirs the wind. The Lakota name for the Thunderbird is Wakį́yą, a word formed from kįyą́, meaning "winged," and wakhą́, "sacred." The Kwakwaka'wakw have many names for the Thunderbird and the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) called him Kw-Uhnx-Wa. The Ojibwa word for a thunderbird that is closely associated with thunder is animikii, while large thunderous birds are known as binesi.

It is believed that in this species of birds males and females measured the same and weight the same. They were said to be the bringers of rain and storms, and large enough to hunt small whales individually.

It is also said that before a horrible natural disaster a thunderbird will come, circle the sky and then the sky will get foggy and then a natural disaster occurs. Most creatures like these are signs of tragic disasters and do not make disasters.

Thunderbirds - Mythical Creatures Guide


Thunhelmy
Thunhelmy
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