Eagles have been a symbol of power and strength for thousands of years, and figured prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. The Comanche’s myth of eagle creation began when the young son of a chief died and was turned into the first eagle as an answer to his father’s prayers. The Comanche eagle dance celebrates this legend. Dancers carry an eagle feather fan in their left hand. The Comanche were one of the first tribes to acquire horses from the Spanish and one of the few to breed them to any extent. They also fought battles on horseback, a skill unknown among other Indian peoples. Highly skilled Comanche horsemen set the pattern of nomadic equestrian life that became characteristic of the Plains tribes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Early 21st-century population estimates report some 20,000 individuals of Comanche descent. Here, wood fine art carver, Keoni Carlson, honors the stories and mythology relating to the Eagle with a contemporary adaptation that shows three eagles in flight above desert mesas and sun. On the back are carved stylized eagle wings.

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