Across many Native American cultures, the thunderbird carries many of the same characteristics. It is described as a large bird, capable of creating storms and thunder while it flies. Clouds are pulled together by its wingbeats, the sound of thunder made by its wings clapping, lightning the light flashing from its eyes when it blinks, and individual bolts of lightening made by the glowing snakes that it carries around with it. In masks, it is depicted as multi-colored, with two curling horns, and, often, teeth within its beak.

Thunderbird - detail top

Thunderbird – detail top

Thunderbird -1


The thunderbird is generally assumed to be based on real (though mythically exaggerated) species of birds, possibly eagles or condors.

Thunderbird - detail - bottom

Thunderbird – detail – bottom

Thunderbird - back

Thunderbird – back

Thunderbird -signature

Thunderbird -signature

Darcy Joseph – 1975 – Squamish, B.C.

18-1/4″ x 2-3/4″ (46.4 cm x 7 cm)

Item # 10061-A