Dance Apron

White buttons secure the thunderbird crest to this ceremonial dance apron. Bells and thimbles are used as noisemakers, replacing customary shells and puffin bills. In Northwest Coast First Nations’ myths, the thunderbird creates thunder and lightning – thunder by flapping its wings, and lightning by opening and closing its eyes.

Collection Connections 

  • Bonnet


    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Quebec, Sept Iles Maliotenam

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  • Hat


    Asia: South East Asia, Thailand

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  • Leggings


    Asia: South East Asia, Thailand, Okha

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  • Seating Mat

    Seating Mat

    Asia: South East Asia, Indonesia, Borneo

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Why do you think birds are popular symbols and what different meanings do they hold?

responded: Mar 31, 2010

Posted by Irene Yancheva

Recommend this Response
It is very easy to see why birds have been popular symbols. The ability for birds to fly, to reach all corners of the world, and to call the sky their home makes it easy to believe that they have powers or capabilities that we do not. In some cultures, they are believed to connect humans with their ancestors, to mediate between humans and Gods, to see the future, or even to be Creators. In some Native North American cultures, for example, ravens are believed to have brought fire from the sky. As a punishment for doing so, they were blackened by the fire. The raven is considered a sacred being. As the creator of the universe, the raven represents age and wisdom. He brings light and fresh water and teaches humans the ways of life on earth. At the same time, he plays tricks on others while others play tricks on him.

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