El Colibri – Hummingbird
Hopi and Zuni legends tell of hummingbirds intervening on behalf of humans, convincing the gods to bring rain. Because of this, people from these tribes often paint hummingbirds on water jars.
These magnificent tiny creatures, found only in the western hemisphere, are revered by aboriginal peoples in the Americas.
The Pueblo Indians have hummingbird dances and use hummingbird feathers in rituals to bring rain. Pueblo shamans use hummingbirds as couriers to send gifts to the Great Mother who lives beneath the earth.
To many of the Pueblo the hummingbird is a tobacco bird. In one myth Hummingbird gets smoke from Caterpillar, the guardian of the tobacco plant. Hummingbird brings smoke to the shamans so they can purify the earth.
Some Pueblo Indians have a ritual for babies that are stillborn or die in the first few days of life. Prayer sticks with hummingbird feathers are held before the sunrise on the winter solstice in a ceremony that hastens re-birth.
One Pueblo story tells of a demon who is blinded after losing a bet with the sun. In anger he spews out hot lava. The earth catches fire. A hummingbird then saves the beautiful land of people and animals by gathering clouds from the four directions. Hummingbird uses rain from these clouds to put out the flames. This legend says the bright colors on a hummingbird’s throat came after he fled through the rainbow in search of rain clouds.