When the United States was becoming a country, there was a vigorous debate about the choice of the American Bird. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin were tasked with designing the country’s emblem. They were not successful, and it was not until 1782 that the design of the Bald Eagle was adopted.
The Bald Eagle has been a symbol of strength throughout history. For most Native American tribes, the Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle are considered the most sacred among most tribes.The Eagle represents courage, wisdom, and strength to Native people. While this is a spiritual connection for them, the same attributes were attributed to the Eagle when the bird was chosen as America’s symbol.
Because they fly the highest of all birds, the Eagle is seen as a messenger, carrying prayers to the Great Spirit. If there is a time in history that we need prayers carried for us, it is now.
As we look at the world, our country needs all the wisdom, courage, and strength that it can muster.
I love this lithograph by Amado Peña Jr. It is an unusual image for the artist and carries a special meaning for me. Hopefully, these turbulent times will result in Americans coming together to take on the challenges ahead.
Peña has been honored as an Artisan of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona. He and his wife, JB, make their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has his studio. JB is an owner and artist at Handmade Originals in the Inn at Loretto. They are people who walk their talk. Their Art Has Heart Foundation provides support for students, and they have supported dozens of charities and fundraisers for people in need.