“CALLING THE NIGHT”
The Native American has often been attributed with the ability to hold special relationships with animals. During vision quest’s (the search for the motivating power of existence), many Indians were befriended by animals that were to hold sacred powers for them throughout their lives (i.e. bear, owl, wolf, eagle, buffalo, hawk).
One Cheyenne medicine man took the name of ‘Owl’. The renowned Blackfoot warrior and medicine man, Weasel Head, took to wearing owl feathers on a weasel headband due to a dream he’d had as a youth. Pawnee Indians placed owl feathers on their lances to represent the North Star (which watched over their camp at night).
The owl, a bird that captures its prey, represents courage and the speed needed for success in warfare and were always prayed to in this wise.
To many Native Americans, the owl was a messenger. It is said that many Indians have spoken to and received messages from owls. Messages that foretold of coming events, led hunters to game, advised of danger and recommended courses of action. The owl’s night wisdom and gentle ways were used as examples to teach the youth. It should be noted that one tribe (i.e. Kiowa) feared the owl.