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First People :: Glossary :: Pawnee Gods
 
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Pawnee Gods

Atira

The Earth, Sacred Mother of every living creature.

The Pawnee were hunters. When told to abandon hunting and settle down to farming, their priest replied: "You ask me to plow the ground! Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men! But how dare I cut off my mother's hair? It is a bad law and my people cannot obey it."

Evening Star

An evil star who drives the sun down out of the sky and send his daughter to hinder Morning Star from the sun back up again.

Morning Star

A protector who leads the sun upward into the sky. A soldier god.

North Star

A creator god. Beneficiant and venerated.

Shakura

Sun god. The Pawnee performed their famous Sun Dance for Shakura's sake. Young warriors attached themselves to tall poles with strips of hide which were tied to sharp stakes. The stakes were driven through the skin and flesh on the chest. The young brave would then support his entire weight with the hide ropes as he slowly circled the pole following the sun's movement in the sky. This lasted until the sun went down or the stakes ripped out of the brave's flesh.

South Star

God of the underworld, the opposite of North Star. Magical and feared.

Tirawa-Atius

The Power Above, creator of the heavens and the earth.

In the beginning Tirawa-Atius called the gods together to announce his plan to create the human race and promised the gods a share of power for their help. Shakura the Sun was assigned to provide light and heat, Pah the Moon was assigned the night, and Tirwara-Atius placed the Evening Star, the Mother of All Things in the west. The Morning Star he set to guard the east. After the gods had raised dry land from the watery chaos, Tirawa Atius told Sun and Moon to make love, and they gave birth to a son. He then told Evening and Morning Star to make love, and they gave birth to a daughter. So the human race was made.

All would have been well if Coyote had not stolen a sack of storms from Lightening. Opening the sack, Coyote loosed the storms and so brought death into the world.

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