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Native American Legends

Bird Origin Myth

A Winnebago (Hotcâk) Legend

The first birds created by Earthmaker were the Thunders, who can make themselves invisible. As the Thunderbirds traversed the heavens, they would occasionally lose a feather. From such feathers, the visible birds sprang into existence. From the largest quill feathers of the Thunders there came into being the race of eagles; from other large feathers came the race of hawks and their kind; from the small feathers came such birds as partridges; from the down feathers came the small birds like robins and pigeons; and from the mere fuzz of down feathers emerged the very smallest of birds, such as sparrows and hummingbirds. All birds, therefore, are descended from the Thunders.

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