Published on March 21, 2013 by Amy
Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation through Symbols and Signs such as the Falcon symbol. The origin of the Falcon symbol derives from the ancient Mississippian culture of the Mound Builders of North America and were major elements in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of American prehistory (S.E.C.C.). Some Indian tribes including the Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole and Chickasaw still retain some elements of the Mississippi culture. Their sacred rites, myths and symbols, such as the Thunderbird symbol, are presumed to descend from the Mississippians.
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The Falcon symbol featured strongly in the Mississippian culture, along with the other Bird Man symbols. The Falcon was believed to be a supernatural deity who resided in the Upperworld with the spirits of the Sun, Moon and Stars. A Falcon therefore represented the Upperworld, order, and light and Falcon dancers would perform in ceremonies supplicating the spirits of the Upperworld. The link between the Upperworld (heaven) and the earth was the sky and the Falcon was able to move between the two realms as messengers to the gods. The Falcon was portrayed as a strong, high flying predators. The Mississippians used dances, gestures and sounds as symbolic powers and wore ceremonial clothes and carried sacred objects and weapons to symbolize their power. The Falcon created a powerful, intimidating figure and was associated with warfare. The Falcon symbol picture clearly shows the dancer showing a mace which was a bludgeoning weapon and in his hand he carries a severed head. The severed head proves his prowess as a warrior. Performing rituals and Falcon dances were the Mississippians way of aligning themselves to the spirits of the Upperworld and gaining favor for victory in forth coming battles or victory in important competitions such as Chunkey during which fortunes could be won or lost. For additional information refer to Power Animals.
The most ancient Native American Indian symbols, like the Falcon symbol, came from the Mississippian culture which was established in 1000AD and continued to 1550AD onward. The Mississippian Native Americans were the last of the mound-building cultures of North America in the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States. The Mississippian culture was based on warfare, which was represented by an array of emblems, motifs and symbols. The Mississippian culture warrior icons like the Falcon symbol provides interesting history and ideas for tattoos that include cosmic imagery depicting animals, humans and mythical beasts. The Mississippian Native Americans practiced body painting, tattooing and piercing.
Native American Indians of the Mississippian culture were sun worshipers and had a highly complex warfare culture. Their symbols, such as the Falcon symbol, reflect the warfare culture and the religious beliefs and cosmologies of the different historic tribes who existed at the time of the first European contact.
The Mississippians believed that the universe consisted of three parts with good and bad spiritual forces. These three worlds were linked together and their connection was usually portrayed as a cedar tree or a striped pole. The Underworld was inhabited by spirit snakes, the Upper world was inhabited by spirit birds and the people of the earth who were ruled by these powerful spirits like the Falcon.
Items displaying symbols, like the Falcon symbol, from the Mississippian culture have been found in burial sites that contained war axes, knives and other weapons. This type of symbol was embossed in valuable materials such as rare shells, copper and lead and depicted on pottery and stone tools and weapons.