Ke-O-Ko-Ma-Quah Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk Burnett Sr.

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The Eagle: Potawatomi Legend


Above: Potawatomi Eagle Dancer, Gary Wis-Ki-Ge-Amatyuk Jr. (Potawatomi/Ojibwe) painted by National Award Winning Artist Zhou Liang


In the beginning, life was lowered to Earth from the stars like a child born into the world.

Awakening from the dream world, the stars were transformed into the beautiful creatures and life of the physical realms of land, sky, and water.

From the brightest of all stars, a pure white eagle was created to roam the skies, who then took flight back to the Heavens and beyond to the stars, searching for his place in the world.

Venturing too close to the sun, the great white eagle received burns to the tips of his feathers.

Soaring back to Earth's sky, the great eagle remained in between the worlds of land, water, and the Heavens above, flying closest to the great spirit of life and possessing the ability of leaving his physical body and entering the four realms of the spirit world:

The physical world of consciousness

The dream world when one sleeps

The world in between life and death when one's body is damaged or sick

The world of the dead when one passes on, taking the journey to the spirit world.

Possessing the ability of leaving the physical realm and entering the spirit world, the great eagle, guardian and keeper of the skies, would remain in between both worlds as a messenger and protector to the great spirit of life.