“Ascending with Spirit”
The Pueblo Eagle Dancer
The Eagle dancers can be seen during our winter ceremonies in my Pueblo of Jemez, it is part of a lager dance called the Buffalo dance. In this sculpture both the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle come together. The headdress represents the Bald Eagle, the tail and wings are of a Golden Eagle.
I placed the Sun symbol on the tail, these tail feathers become the Sun’s rays and blessings. The body paints are natural earth slips. The yellow represents the yellow talons of the Eagle. There are lightening bolts along his wings, I used it to symbolize the accuracy Golden Eagles have when hunting and striking their prey.
The designs that are on his kilt, starting at the top, for me represent prayer feathers. Below that are altar steps, a symbol of prayer. Then there is the energy of lightening. Below the kilt he has red and green yarn ties around his knees and skunk skins tied around his white moccasins.
In my Pueblo, the Winter ceremonies are held to honor the animals and to give thanks for what was harvested during the ceremonial hunts. These ceremonies are also prayers to symbolically plant the seeds of fertility so that many more animals will be conceived and hatched during the coming Spring.