|Red Tailed Hawk, Source Wiki media Commons|
I live about 25 minutes outside of Boston, but in an area that boasts a lot of conservation lands. It is not uncommon to be visited by deer, turkey, foxes, coyotes, owls and the occasional bear as has passed through the past two springs. None of this is strange. It was what my daughter said that day that got me thinking. After looking for a few minutes in complete silence, she said, "Is he protecting me?" This small statement floored me for a second. My daughter is one of these children that regularly says these things that give me pause to think. She has been doing it since she could speak. It immediately brought to mind images of eagle and turkey feather bustles at powwows and it started me thinking about the significance of these great birds in Mi'kmaq and Native American tradition. So, I did some research.
|Bald Eagle, Source Wiki media Commons|
In the Mi'kmaq creation story, Kluscap is formed out of the elements of the earth by Kisu'lk (Gisoolg), the creator. The word Gisoolg means , you are created and is a verb. When Kluscap was created from a bolt of lightening, he lay in the earth unable to move. After the third winter, he was freed and travelled the four sacred directions across the entire continent until he saw grandfather sun and returned to the place of his creation in the east. He looked up at grandfather sun and a bald eagle descended and landed. He was called Kitpu. He said."I am the bird who flies the highest in the sky and I am the messenger for Kisu'lk." He told Kluscap that he would be joined soon by the rest of his family who would help him understand his place in the world. As he flew away, a feather floated down and he caught it in his hand. Kluscap touched it and held it. He felt strong holding it. Since this day the eagle feather is a symbol of strength and symbolizes connection to the creator , grandfather sun and mother earth.
|Wild turkey, Source Wiki media Commons|
|Mi'kmaq dancer wearing Eagle feather regalia|
If you are interested in hearing more of the Kluscap creation story in greater detail, I learned this information from Mi'kmaq Stephen Augustine's teachings. He is a fantastic storyteller and well known in the Mi'kmaq community. The version I present here in my blog is very basic and omits a great deal of the story. There is a wonderful video at www.fourdirectionsteachings.com/main.html which explains each of the seven levels of the creation story. You can find many of Stephen Augustine's teachings on line and on you tube as well.
|Dancer wearing turkey feather regalia|