Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hummingbirds of the West

As I watched the brave little hummingbirds at our feeder, the ones that apparently will winter over with us this year, I started thinking about them and the joy they bring - now all year long.  There is just something magical about these tiny birds.

So, yes, I turned to a little research:

Native American Mythology
Hummingbirds are found only in the western hemisphere, so they are absent from the traditional fairy tales, legends, and myths of European and African Americans. There is, however, a rich supply of stories about these tiny birds in Native American mythology.
Hopi and Zuni legends tell of hummingbirds intervening on behalf of humans, convincing the gods to bring rain. Because of this, people from these tribes often paint hummingbirds on water jars.
There is a legend from Mexico about a Taroscan Indian woman who was taught how to weave beautiful baskets by a grateful hummingbird to whom she had given sugar water during a drought. These baskets are now used in Day of the Dead Festivals.
So I had no idea that they are found only in the western hemisphere.  And that last one has convinced me to figure out how to depict a hummingbird on one of my baskets (hmmm, no wonder I feel a connection to them).
But there are stories from all of the Native American tribes about hummingbirds, what they stand for and how they have helped humans.  I just know that I have always been intrigued by them.

No comments: