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Pawnee Mythology

Beliefs and practices
Tirawa (also called Atius Tirawa) was the Creator god. He was believed to have taught the Pawnee people tattooing, fire-building, hunting, agriculture, speech and clothing, religious rituals (including the use of tobacco and sacred bundles), and sacrifices. He was associated with most natural phenomena, including stars and planets, wind, lightning, rain, and thunder. The wife of Tirawa was Atira, goddess of the Earth. Atira was associated with corn.[1]
The solar and lunar deities were Shakuru and Pah, respectively. Four major stars were said to represent gods and were part of the Creation story, in which the first human being was a girl. The Morning Star and Evening Star mated to create her.
Archeologists and anthropologists have determined the Pawnee had a sophisticated understanding of the movement of stars. They noted the nonconforming movements of both Venus (Evening Star) and Mars (Morning Star). The Pawnee centered all aspects of daily life on this celestial observation, including the important cultivation cycle for sacred corn.
They built earthwork lodges to accommodate the sedentary nature of Pawnee culture; each lodge “was at the same time the universe and also the womb of a woman, and the household activities represented her reproductive powers.”[2] The lodge also represented the universe in a more practical way. The physical construction of the house required setting up four posts to represent the four cardinal directions, “aligned almost exactly with the north-south, east-west axis.[3]
Along with the presence of the posts, four other requirements marked the Pawnee lodge as an observatory:
“A Pawnee observatory-lodge would have an unobstructed view of the eastern sky”;
“A lodge’s axis would be oriented east-west so that at the vernal equinox the sun’s first light would strike the altar”;
“The size parameters of the lodge’s smoke hole and door (height and width) would be designed to view the sky”; and
“An observatory-lodge’s smoke hole would be constructed to view certain parts of the heavens – such as the Pleiades.” [4]
Through both the historical and archaeological record, it is clear that the Pawnee lifestyle was centered on the observation of the celestial bodies, whose movements formed the basis of their seasonal rituals. The positions and construction of their lodges placed their daily life in the center of a scaled-down universe. They could observe the greater universe outside and be reminded of their role in perpetuating the universe.
According to one Skidi band Pawnee man at the beginning of the twentieth century, “The Skidi were organized by the stars; these powers above made them into families and villages, and taught them how to live and how to perform their ceremonies. The shrines of the four leading villages were given by the four leading stars and represent those stars which guide and rule the people.”[5]
The Pawnee paid close attention to the universe and believed that for the universe to continue functioning, they had to perform regular ceremonies. These ceremonies were performed before major events, such as semi-annual buffalo hunts, as well as before many other important activities of the year, such as sowing seeds in the spring and harvesting in the fall. The most important ceremony of the Pawnee culture, the Spring Awakening ceremony, was meant to awaken the earth and ready it for planting. It can be tied directly to the tracking of celestial bodies.
“The position of the stars was an important guide to the time when this ceremony should be held. The earth-lodge served as an astronomical observatory and as the priests sat inside at the west, they could observe the stars in certain positions through the smokehole and through the long east-oriented entranceway. They also kept careful watch of the horizon right after sunset and just before dawn to note the order and position of the stars.” [6] The ceremony must be held at exactly the right time of year, when the priest first tracked “two small twinkling stars known as the Swimming Ducks in the northeastern horizon near the Milky Way.”[7]
Nahurac
In the Pawnee traditional religion, the supreme being Tirawa conferred miraculous powers on certain animals. These spirit animals, the nahurac, act as Tirawa’s messengers and servants, and can intercede with him on behalf of the Pawnee. The nahurac had five dwellings, and were miraculous.[8]
The nahurac had five lodges. The foremost among them was Pahuk, usually translated “hill island”, a bluff on the south side of the Platte River, near the town of Cedar Bluffs in present-day Saunders County, Nebraska.[9]
Lalawakohtito, or “dark island”, was an island in the Platte near Central City, Nebraska.
Ahkawitakol, or “white bank”, was on the Loup River opposite the mouth of the Cedar River in what is now Nance County, Nebraska.
Kitzawitzuk, translated “water on a bank”, also known to the Pawnee as Pahowa, was a spring on the Solomon River[8]:358 near Glen Elder, Kansas. It now lies beneath the waters of Waconda Reservoir.[10]
The fifth lodge of the nahurac was known to the Pawnee as Pahur, a name translated as “hill that points the way”. According to George Bird Grinnell, the accent is on the second syllable; the “a” in the first syllable is pronounced like the “a” in “father”; and the “u” in the second syllable is pronounced long, like the vowel in “pool”.[8]:xxi, 359 In English, the name was shortened to “Guide Rock”.[8]:359
Morning Star ceremony
The Morning Star ceremony was a ritual sacrifice of a young girl in the spring. It was connected to the Creation story, in which the mating of the male Morning Star with the female Evening Star created the first human being, a girl.
The ceremony was not held in full every year, but only when a man of the village dreamed that the Morning Star had come to him and told him to perform the ceremony. He then consulted with the Morning Star priest, who has been reading the sky. Together they determined whether the Morning Star was demanding only the more common yearly symbolic ceremony, or requiring that the ceremony be carried out in full. When the Pawnee priests would identify certain celestial bodies on the horizon, they would know that the Morning Star needed to be appeased with the sacrifice of a young girl.
“The sacrifice was performed only in years when Mars was morning star and usually originated in a dream in which the Morning Star appeared to some man and directed him to capture a suitable victim. The dreamer went to the keeper of the Morning Star bundle and received from him the warrior’s costume kept in it. He then set out, accompanied by volunteers, and made a night attack upon an enemy village. As soon as a girl of suitable age was captured the attack ceased and the party returned. The girl was dedicated to the Morning Star at the moment of her capture and was given into the care of the leader of the party who, on its return, turned her over to the chief of the Morning Star.“[11]
Returning to the village, the people treated the girl with respect, but they kept her isolated from the rest of the camp. If it was spring and time for the sacrifice, she was ritually cleansed. What was a five-day ceremony was begun around her. The Morning Star priest would sing songs and the girl was symbolically transformed from human form to be among the celestial bodies. Here the girl became the ritual representation of the Evening Star; she was not impersonating the deity, but instead had become an earthly embodiment. On the final day of the ceremony, a procession of men, boys and even male infants accompanied the girl outside the village to where the men had raised a scaffold. They had used sacred woods and skins, and the scaffold represented “Evening Star’s garden in the west, the source of all animal and plant life.”[12] The priests removed her clothing and
The procession was timed so that she would be left alone on the scaffold at the moment the morning star rose. When the morning star appeared, two men came from the east with flaming brands and touched her lightly in the arm pits and groins. Four other men then touched her with war clubs. The man who had captured her then ran forward with the bow from the Skull bundle and a sacred arrow and shot her through the heart while another man struck her on the head with the war club from the Morning Star bundle. The officiating priest then opened her breast with a flint knife and smeared his face with the blood while her captor caught the falling blood on dried meat. All the male members of the tribe then pressed forward and shot arrows into the body. They then circled the scaffold four times and dispersed.[13]
To fulfill the creation of life, the men of the village would take on the role of the Morning Star, which is why two men would come from the east with flaming brands, representing the sun. The men acted out the violence which had allowed the Morning Star to mate with the Evening Star (by breaking her vaginal teeth) in their creation story, with a “meteor stone.”[14] During the Morning Star ceremony, the captive was shot in the heart and a “man struck her on the head with the war club from the Morning Star bundle.”[15] By having all the men in the village shoot arrows into her body, the village men, embodiments of Morning Star, were symbolically mating with her. Her blood would drip down from the scaffolding and onto the ground which had been made to represent the Evening Star’s garden of all plant and animal life. They took her body and lay the girl face down on the prairie, where her blood would enter the earth and fertilize the ground. The spirit of the Evening Star was released and the men ensured the success of the crops, all life on the Plains, and the perpetuation of the Universe.
Last rites
The Skidi practiced the Morning Star ritual regularly through the 1810s. The Missouri Gazette reported a sacrifice in 1818. US Indian agents sought to convince chiefs to suppress the ritual, and major leaders, such as Knife Chief, worked to change the practices objected to by the increasing number of American settlers on the Plains. The last sacrifice was of Haxti, a 14-year-old Oglala girl on April 22, 1838.

Pawnee. A confederacy belonging to the Caddoan family. The name is probably derived from parika, a horn, a term used to designate the peculiar manner of dressing the scalp-lock, by which the hair was stiffened with paint and fat, and made to stand erect and curved like a horn. This marked features of the Pawnee gave currency to the name and its application to cognate tribes. The people called themselves Chahiksichahiks, `men of men.’
In the general northeastwardly movement of the Caddoan tribes the Pawnee seem to have brought up the rear. Their migration was not in a compact body, but in groups, whose slow progress covered long periods of time. The Pawnee tribes finally established themselves in the valley of Platte river, Nebr., which territory, their traditions say, was acquired by conquest, but the people who were driven out are not named. It is not improbable that in making their way north east the Pawnee may have encountered one or more waves of the southward movements of Shoshonean and Athapascan tribes. When the Siouan tribes entered Platte valley they found the Pawnee there. The geographic arrangement always observed by the four leading Pawnee tribes may give a hint of the order of their northeastward movement, or of their grouping in their traditionary southwestern home. The Skidi place was to the north west, and they were spoken of as belonging to the upper villages; the Pitahauerat villages were always downstream; those of the Chaui, in the middle, or between the Pitahauerat and the Kitkehahki, the villages of the last-named being always upstream. How long the Pawnee resided in the Platte valley is unknown, but their stay was long enough to give new terms to ‘west’ and ‘east,’ that is, words equivalent to ‘up’ or ‘down’ that eastwardly flowing stream.
The earliest historic mention of a Pawnee is that of the so-called “Turk”, who by his tales concerning the riches of Quivira allured and finally led Coronado, in 1541, from New Mexico over the plains as far as Kansas, where some Pawnee (see Harahey) visited him. The permanent villages of the tribes lay to the north of Quivira, and it is improbable that Coronado actually entered any of them during his visit to Quivira, a name given to the Wichita territory. It is doubtful if the Apane or the Quipana mentioned in the narrative of De Soto’s expedition in 1541 were the Pawnee, as the latter dwelt to the north west of the Spaniards’ line of travel. Nor is it likely that the early French explorers visited the Pawnee villages, although they heard of them, and their locality was indicated by Tonti, La Harpe, and others. French traders, however, were established among the tribes before the middle of the 18th century.
How the term Pani, or Pawnee, as applied to Indian slaves, came into use is not definitely known. It was a practice among the French and English in the 17th and 18th centuries to obtain from friendly tribes their captives taken in war and to sell them as slaves to white settlers. By ordinance of Apr. 13, 1709, the enslavement of Negroes and Pawnee was recognized in Canada (Shea’s Charlevoix, v, 224, 1871). The Pawnee do not seem to have suffered especially from this traffic, which, though lucrative, had to be abandoned on account of the animosities it engendered. The white settlers of New Mexico became familiar with the Pawnee early in the 17th century through the latter’s raids for procuring horses, and for more than two centuries the Spanish authorities of that territory sought to bring about peaceful relations with them, with only partial success.

 

Pawnee Pantheon

Pawnee mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the Pawnee concerning their gods and heroes. The Pawnee are a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans, originally located on the Great Plains along tributaries of the Missouri River. They spoke a Caddoan language.
The Pawnee had a highly integrated System of religious beliefs that resisted European miss ionization until well into the nineteenth century. In this system of beliefs all life was understood to have derived from the meeting of male (east) and female (west) forces in the sky. The supernatural power at the zenith of the sky where these forces met was known as Tirawa. Tirawa produced the world through a series of violent storms and created star gods, who in turn created humanity. In 1891, along with other Plains Indian groups, the Pawnee participated in the Ghost Dance, a revitalization movement envisioning the return of the dead from the spirit world and the disappearance of the White man from the land. The two most prominent star powers were the Evening Star, the goddess of darkness and fertility who lived in the western sky, and Morning Star, the god of fire and light who was located in the eastern sky. Next in rank to Tirawa, Evening Star and Morning Star were the gods of the four world quarters in the northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest who supported the heavens.
Pawnee religious specialists consisted of a group of wise men who derived their power and authority from a star planet and held their position as a matter of heredity. They were understood to stand between normal men and Tirawa and supervised a yearly round of religious ceremonies conducted to bring success in farming, hunting, and warfare.
The foci of Pawnee religious ceremonies were sacred bundles of religious objects believed to have been passed down a line of ancestors. Each village had its own sacred bundle with which its members identified strongly, and each sacred bundle was a medium through which the people communicated with Tirawa. The annual ceremonial cycle began with the first thunder in the spring and concluded with the harvest of maize in the autumn. The climax of the cycle was the sacrifice of a young woman to the Morning Star at the time of the summer solstice in order to ensure prosperity and long life. The sacrifice to the Morning Star persisted until about 1838. Another important ceremonial event concerned preparations for the buffalo hunt. The ceremony began with fasting, prayer, and sacrifice by the priests, followed by a public ritual in which the priests appealed to Tirawa for aid. The ritual concluded with three days of uninterrupted dancing arts. Pawnee music was simple in its melody and rhythm and was an important part of Pawnee ceremonial activities. At the time of the Ghost Dance songs secured in dreams or visions emphasized memories of former days, reunion with the dead, and other aspects of the Ghost Dance revitalization movement.
The Pawnee recognized witchcraft and, ultimately, anger and hostility to be major causes of disease. Pawnee religious specialists also included shamans who cured the sick through powers believed to have been acquired from animal spirits. Shamans were organized into societies with specific rituals performed twice each year in order to perpetuate and renew their powers.
As with disease, death was believed to sometimes be the result of hostility and witchcraft. Burial preparations varied according to the rank and position of the deceased. Individuals of importance and those who died in extreme old age were painted with a sacred red ointment, dressed in their best costumes, and wrapped in a bison robe before burial. It was believed that after death the soul of the deceased ascended to heaven to become a star or, in the case of those who were diseased or died in a cowardly manner in battle, traveled to a village of spirits in the south.
God: Tirawa (also called Atius Tirawa) was the Creator god
He was believed to have taught the Pawnee people tattooing, fire-building, hunting, agriculture, speech and clothing, religious rituals (including the use of tobacco and sacred bundles), and sacrifices. He was associated with most natural phenomena, including stars and planets, wind, lightning, rain, and thunder.
Goddess: Atira
The wife of Tirawa was Atira, goddess of the Earth. Atira was associated with corn.
Demi-Gods: Shakuru and Pah, Morning Star and Evening Star,
The solar and lunar deities were Shakuru and Pah, respectively. Four major stars were said to represent gods and were part of the Creation story, in which the first human being was a girl. The Morning Star and Evening Star mated to create her.
Where they dwell:
Archeologists and anthropologists have determined the Pawnee had a sophisticated understanding of the movement of stars. They noted the nonconforming movements of both Venus (Evening Star) and Mars (Morning Star). The Pawnee centered all aspects of daily life on this celestial observation, including the important cultivation cycle for sacred corn.
They built earthwork lodges to accommodate the sedentary nature of Pawnee culture; each lodge “was at the same time the universe and also the womb of a woman, and the household activities represented her reproductive powers.” The lodge also represented the universe in a more practical way. The physical construction of the house required setting up four posts to represent the four cardinal directions, “aligned almost exactly with the north-south, east-west axis. (Coordinates with our 4 elements)
Along with the presence of the posts, four other requirements marked the Pawnee lodge as an observatory:
“A Pawnee observatory-lodge would have an unobstructed view of the eastern sky”;
“A lodge’s axis would be oriented east-west so that at the vernal equinox the sun’s first light would strike the altar”;
“The size parameters of the lodge’s smoke hole and door (height and width) would be designed to view the sky”; and
“An observatory-lodge’s smoke hole would be constructed to view certain parts of the heavens – such as the Pleiades.”
Through both the historical and archaeological record, it is clear that the Pawnee lifestyle was centered on the observation of the celestial bodies, whose movements formed the basis of their seasonal rituals. The positions and construction of their lodges placed their daily life in the center of a scaled-down universe. They could observe the greater universe outside and be reminded of their role in perpetuating the universe.
According to one Skidi band Pawnee man at the beginning of the twentieth century, “The Skidi were organized by the stars; these powers above made them into families and villages, and taught them how to live and how to perform their ceremonies. The shrines of the four leading villages were given by the four leading stars and represent those stars which guide and rule the people.”(Looks a lot like our hives and hiving off, but still within the working circle of things)
The Pawnee paid close attention to the universe and believed that for the universe to continue functioning, they had to perform regular ceremonies. These ceremonies were performed before major events, such as semi-annual buffalo hunts, as well as before many other important activities of the year, such as sowing seeds in the spring and harvesting in the fall. The most important ceremony of the Pawnee culture, the spring awakening ceremony, was meant to awaken the earth and ready it for planting. It can be tied directly to the tracking of celestial bodies. (Rituals/ceremonies performed to honor seasons, similar to our Sabbaths for the seasons, as well as the Great Hunt and Beltane)
“The position of the stars was an important guide to the time when this ceremony should be held. The earth-lodge served as an astronomical observatory and as the priests sat inside at the west, they could observe the stars in certain positions through the smoke hole and through the long east-oriented entranceway. They also kept careful watch of the horizon right after sunset and just before dawn to note the order and position of the stars.” The ceremony must be held at exactly the right time of year, when the priest first tracked “two small twinkling stars known as the Swimming Ducks in the northeastern horizon near the Milky Way.”(Having such knowledge of the stars they would have knowledge of the equinoxes and solstices)
Demi-Gods: Nahurac
In the Pawnee traditional religion, the Supreme Being Tirawa conferred miraculous powers on certain animals. These spirit animals, the nahurac, act as Tirawa’s messengers and servants, and can intercede with him on behalf of the Pawnee .(This would co-inside with our Totem Animals and what aspects they bring to our lives and our usage of them in everyday life)

Where they dwell:
Pahuk
The nahurac had five dwellings, and were miraculous.[8]
The nahurac had five lodges. The foremost among them was Pahuk, usually translated “hill island”, a bluff on the south side of the Platte River, near the town of Cedar Bluffs in present-day Saunders County, Nebraska.[9]
Lalawakohtito, or “Dark Island”, was an island in the Platte near Central City, Nebraska.
Ahkawitakol, or “white bank”, was on the Loup River opposite the mouth of the Cedar River in what is now Nance County, Nebraska.
Kitzawitzuk, translated “water on a bank”, also known to the Pawnee as Pahowa, was a spring on the Solomon River near Glen Elder, Kansas. It now lies beneath the waters of Waconda Reservoir.[10]
The fifth lodge of the nahurac was known to the Pawnee as Pahur, a name translated as “hill that points the way”. According to George Bird Grinnell, the accent is on the second syllable; the “a” in the first syllable is pronounced like the “a” in “father”; and the “u” in the second syllable is pronounced long, like the vowel in “pool”. In English, the name was shortened to “Guide Rock”.
Tribes off shoots that are like our Hives:
“The Skidi were organized by the stars; these powers above made them into families and villages, and taught them how to live and how to perform their ceremonies. The shrines of the four leading villages were given by the four leading stars and represent those stars which guide and rule the people.”

Rituals: Spring (as well as sacrifice), pre-hunt, sowing, harvesting
Their Ritual dress was very sacred to them

The Pawnee paid close attention to the universe and believed that for the universe to continue functioning, they had to perform regular ceremonies. These ceremonies were performed before major events, such as semi-annual buffalo hunts, as well as before many other important activities of the year, such as sowing seeds in the spring and harvesting in the fall. The most important ceremony of the Pawnee culture, the spring awakening ceremony, was meant to awaken the earth and ready it for planting. It can be tied directly to the tracking of celestial bodies.

Morning Star ceremony
The Morning Star ceremony was a ritual sacrifice of a young girl in the spring. It was connected to the Creation story, in which the mating of the male Morning Star with the female Evening Star created the first human being, a girl.
The ceremony was not held in full every year, but only when a man of the village dreamed that the Morning Star had come to him and told him to perform the ceremony. He then consulted with the Morning Star priest, who has been reading the sky. Together they determined whether the Morning Star was demanding only the more common yearly symbolic ceremony, or requiring that the ceremony be carried out in full. When the Pawnee priests would identify certain celestial bodies on the horizon, they would know that the Morning Star needed to be appeased with the sacrifice of a young girl.
“The sacrifice was performed only in years when Mars was morning star and usually originated in a dream in which the Morning Star appeared to some man and directed him to capture a suitable victim. The dreamer went to the keeper of the Morning Star bundle and received from him the warrior’s costume kept in it. He then set out, accompanied by volunteers, and made a night attack upon an enemy village. As soon as a girl of suitable age was captured the attack ceased and the party returned. The girl was dedicated to the Morning Star at the moment of her capture and was given into the care of the leader of the party who, on its return, turned her over to the chief of the Morning Star.“
Returning to the village, the people treated the girl with respect, but they kept her isolated from the rest of the camp. If it was spring and time for the sacrifice, she was ritually cleansed. What was a five-day ceremony was begun around her. The Morning Star priest would sing songs and the girl was symbolically transformed from human form to be among the celestial bodies. Here the girl became the ritual representation of the Evening Star; she was not impersonating the deity, but instead had become an earthly embodiment. On the final day of the ceremony, a procession of men, boys and even male infants accompanied the girl outside the village to where the men had raised a scaffold. They had used sacred woods and skins, and the scaffold represented “Evening Star’s garden in the west, the source of all animal and plant life.” The priests removed her clothing and
The procession was timed so that she would be left alone on the scaffold at the moment the morning star rose. When the morning star appeared, two men came from the east with flaming brands and touched her lightly in the arm pits and groins. Four other men then touched her with war clubs. The man who had captured her then ran forward with the bow from the Skull bundle and a sacred arrow and shot her through the heart while another man struck her on the head with the war club from the Morning Star bundle. The officiating priest then opened her breast with a flint knife and smeared his face with the blood while her captor caught the falling blood on dried meat. All the male members of the tribe then pressed forward and shot arrows into the body. They then circled the scaffold four times and dispersed.
To fulfill the creation of life, the men of the village would take on the role of the Morning Star, which is why two men would come from the east with flaming brands, representing the sun. The men acted out the violence which had allowed the Morning Star to mate with the Evening Star (by breaking her vaginal teeth) in their creation story, with a “meteor stone.” During the Morning Star ceremony, the captive was shot in the heart and a “man struck her on the head with the war club from the Morning Star bundle.” By having all the men in the village shoot arrows into her body, the village men, embodiments of Morning Star, were symbolically mating with her. Her blood would drip down from the scaffolding and onto the ground which had been made to represent the Evening Star’s garden of all plant and animal life. They took her body and lay the girl face down on the prairie, where her blood would enter the earth and fertilize the ground. The spirit of the Evening Star was released and the men ensured the success of the crops, all life on the Plains, and the perpetuation of the Universe.

Last rites
The Skidi practiced the Morning Star ritual regularly through the 1810s. The Missouri Gazette reported a sacrifice in 1818. US Indian agents sought to convince chiefs to suppress the ritual, and major leaders, such as Knife Chief, worked to change the practices objected to by the increasing number of American settlers on the Plains. The last sacrifice was of Haxti, a 14-year-old Oglala girl on April 22, 1838
History
In the 1850s, three Pawnee villages were located in the vicinity of Pahuk. The Skidi (Wolf Pawnee) had established a village at the McClean  Site on the bluff between 1847 and 1850. By 1855, the Skidi had been joined by the Pitahauerats (Tapage Pawnee), and the village had been fortified against Sioux attack with a sod wall. The Chaui (Grand Pawnee) were in a village at the Leshara Site, about four miles southeast of the Skidi, near present-day Leshara, Nebraska. A third village, probably of the Kitkehahki (Republican Pawnee) was located on the south bank of the Platte west of the Skidi.
In 1857, the Pawnee, under pressure from white settlers and Sioux attacks, signed a treaty giving up all claims to land in Nebraska in exchange for a reservation on the Loup River in present-day Nance County, Nebraska. In 1859, the Mormon settlers of the town of Genoa on the reservation were evicted, and an agency built there.  In that same year, the Pawnee left the villages near Pahuk for their summer buffalo hunt; shortly after they had departed, the villages were burned, either by Sioux raiders or by settlers. The destruction of the villages and the hope of obtaining government protection from the Sioux drove the Pawnee to leave the Platte and move to the reservation.
In 1858, the Nebraska Territorial Legislature, meeting in Florence, voted to move the territorial capital from Omaha to Pahuk, which they dubbed “Capitol Hill”, and on which they proposed to build a capital city named Neapolis. Although a majority of the members of the legislature had been present at the Florence session, Governor William Alexander Richardson refused to recognize its actions, on the grounds that it had not met at Omaha, the legitimate seat of government. The nascent Neapolis community was soon abandoned.
Pahuk was claimed by homesteaders in 1868. Its name was given to Pohocco Precinct, organized in about 1869, although the bluff did not actually lie within the precinct.

Preservation
Although the top of the bluff was cultivated, the site otherwise underwent very little development. The wooded portion of the bluff was purchased in 1962 by Dr. Louis and Geraldine Gilbert. Learning of its significance to the Pawnee, they applied to have the site listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The application was approved in 1973. By then, it was the only one of the five nahurac sites that had not been destroyed or significantly damaged.
In the 1980s, the Gilberts placed a conservation easement on their property. The existence of the easement and Pahuk’s sanctity to the Pawnee were factors cited in the 2005 decision by the Nebraska Department of Roads not to reroute U.S. Highway 77 west of Fremont in the course of converting it into an expressway between Lincoln and Norfolk, Nebraska.
In 2008, Pat and Nancy Shanahan, who farmed the land atop the bluff, created a conservation easement to protect their 257 acres (104 ha) from development. Four representatives of the Pawnee tribe traveled from Oklahoma to Nebraska for the dedication ceremony.
Apart from its historic and religious significance, Pahuk is of interest to biologists, as lying near the westernmost point in the Platte Valley distribution of a number of eastern woodland plant species, including bitternut hickory, black walnut, American linden, and Dutchman’s breeches.

Celtic Mythos

ʻCelticʼ is really a linguistic term more than a cultural one. People spoke Celtic languages as far east as modern-day Turkey. So to specify, what weʼre talking about here is the collection of mythos that comes from modern-day England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France. The most cohesive source material in narrative form that survives today is from Ireland and Wales.
Major Deities: Lugh Cernunnos The Daghdha Brighid Nuadhu of the Silver Hand Oghma
Manannan Maponus/Oenghus
Central story (Irish): Mythological Cycle/The First and Second Battles of Magh Tuiredh (Moytirra)
Invasions: 1. Cessair, daughter of Bith, son of biblical Noah. – Cessair was a grand daughter of
Noah, according to the texts, and when her father, Bith, was denied a place in the ark by Noah, Cessair advised him to build an idol. This idol directed them to take refuge in a ship and they sailed for more than seven years before landing in Ireland. She and her tribe, or followers landed in Ireland three hundred years before Partholón and forty days before the deluge. All however perished in the Flood save one, Fintan, the White Ancient.
2. The Partholon – According to Lebor Gabála the first invasion of Ireland after the Deluge was led by Partholón, a descendant of Magog, son of Japhet. His tribe fought a great battle with the Fomor, a race of demonic beings, and finally won possession of Ireland. his race instituted many crafts and practices for the first time (including the making of ale and beer!) and established legal suretyship.
3. The Nemedians – For three hundred years the Partholón dominated Ireland until plague destroyed them, then thirty years later, according to Lebor Gabála, came the Nemedians. The third invasion was led by Nemed, also a descendant of Magog, son of Japhet, with a fleet of thirty-four transports. Some of the early accounts claim Scythian origin for Nemed and his race while others claim he was Greek. The Nemedians deforested a dozen plains in Ireland and defeated the Fomor in three great battles, but Nemed died later of the plague and three thousand of his people with him. After his death his race lived under the sway of the Fomor and each year at Samhain, the first of November, they had to pay a tribute of two-thirds of their corn, their milk and their children. In desperation they rose against their oppressors and attacked the island fortress of Conann, King of the Fomor. The battle, known as the Battle of Conann’s Tower, at first went well for the Nemedians led by Fergus Redside,
son of Nemed. Conann was killed by Fergus and his army destroyed. The victorious Nemedians were surprised in desperate battle followed in which the Nemedians were defeated. Seven years later most of the remaining Nemedians abandoned Ireland rather than live under the yoke of the Fomor. One section of the tribe went back to their Grecian/Scythian homeland while another sailed for ‘the north of the world’. It is from a third group, led by Fergus Redside and his son Briotan, that the Britons are descended according to the texts.
4. The Fir Bolg – The Nemedians who settled in Greece prospered and multiplied; but once more they were oppressed, this time by the Greeks, which suggests they were, perhaps, more Scythian than Greek. They were persecuted by the Greeks who feared they might rebel against their government so eventually they returned to Ireland in a great fleet. They came in three groups known as the Fir Bolg, the Fir Domhnann and the Gaileoin and landed without opposition. They gathered their forces later at Uisneach in County Meath, divided the country into five provinces and introduced the kingship and the concept of its sacred character to Ireland. It is significant that the Fir Bolg are the first of the Labor Gabála invaders with a definite place in history, however uncertain that place might be. The Gaileoin are identified with the Laighin, the tribe who gave their mane to Leinster(Laighean), and the Fir Domhnann of Connacht are no doubt related to the Dumnonii of Cornwall in Britain and the Damnonii of Scotland.
5. The Tuatha De Danann – The next invasion of Ireland was by a mystical race known as the Tuatha De Danann, who are to be distinguished from all other races who invaded and conquered Ireland, for where there is vagueness in Irish tradition concerning individuals of other invading races, there is by contrast a great wealth of detail concerning the heroes and heroines of the Tuatha De Danann. The Tuatha De Danann are described as physically outstanding; tall, red-haired, fair-skinned, powerful aristocratic and mystical beings who mingled with mortals and yet remained aloof and superior to them. Their principal residences were in and around Brú na Bóinne, the Boyne Valley, where Newgrange and the other great monuments stand today. According to Lebor Gabála the Tuatha Dé Danann were the progeny of those Nemedians who followed Jobhath, the third son of Nemed, out of Ireland after the Battle of Conann’s Tower. Led by their commander Jarbonel they settled with others of their race near the city of Thebes in Greece, in an area “between the Athenians and the Philistines.” Here they practised the arts of sorcery, magic and necromancy; for according to Forus Feasa there arose great conflict between the Athenians and the Assyrians: “…and several battles fought between them. These sorcerers would use their diabolical charms and revive the slain Athenians, and the next day bring them to battle, which so dispirited the Assyrians…” The Tuatha Dé Danann then wandered across Europe settling first in Scandanavia, and later in Alba (Scotland) and “The Northern Isles”. From Alba they resolved to reclaim Ireland from the Fomor and the Fir Bolg, for Ireland was theirs by right of heredity, their Promised Land. With them they brought four great magical treasures: the Lia Fáil or Stone of Destiny which shrieked under the rightful monarch of Ireland at the time of his coronation; the Spear of Lugh which would brook no defeat of the warrior who wielded it; the Sword of Nuada (Cliamh Solais the Sword of Fire) from which no one could escape once it was drawn; and the Cauldron of the Dagda from which none came away hungry.
This demand of the Tuatha Dé Danann led to the First Battle of Moy Tura in which the Tuatha Dé defeated the Fir Bolg and Nuada, King of the Tuatha De, lost an arm and because of this mutilation was obliged to abdicate in favour of Breas the Beautiful.
Breas was a tyrannical ruler. His race laboured under heavy taxation demanded by their ancient adversaries the Fomor. Moreover Breas lacked the mark of a true king of his race: generosity. The chieftains of the Tuatha Dé complained that “their knives were not greased by him, and however often they visited him their breaths did not smell of ale.” “There was no art, no music, no poetry, no entertainment; Ireland was a “land of sheep” and the Tuatha Dé were divided.
Meanwhile Nuada, his arm struck off, was seven years under cure from Dian Cécht the Healer. During this time the healing was completed and a silver arm, richly decorated with sacred runes, and with movement in every finger, was fitted to his shoulder. From that time on he was known as Nuada Airgedlámh, or Nuada of the Silver Arm, and he was reinstated in the Sovereignty.
With the help of Lugh the Il-Dána, the greatest hero and champion of the Tuatha Dé Danann and led by their king, Nuada of the Silver Arm, the Tuatha De defeated the Fomor in the Second Battle of Moy Tura. However, while they were victorious over their age-old enemies the price they paid was high: many of their warriors, champions and chieftains were slain, including Nuada, their King.
According to Lebor Gabála Nuada was slain by Balor of the Evil Eye while Balor himself lost his life to Lugh the Il-Dána, his own grandson in whom “all the blood of the races of Ireland were mixed.”
Lugh was the son of Ethne, daughter of Balor, and Cian, son of Dian Cécht the Healer, a prince or chieftain of the Tuatha Dé Danann. It had been foretold that Balor could only die by the hand of his own grandson so, when Ethne gave birth to Lugh, Balor ordered the baby to be drowned. A stillborn infant was thrown into the sea instead and Lugh was fostered by Tailltu, daughter of the King of Spain and Queen of the Fir Bolg and later by the Shí of Mananann Mac Lir, the sea god.
When the Tuatha Dé Danann, under Nuada, were preparing secretly for war with the Fomor Lugh arrived with a Fairy host and demanded entrance to the royal fortress at Tara. The guard did not recognise either the hero or his name so he called to the Il-Dána to identify himself and name his skills. For each of the skills – warrior, harper, poet, historian, hero, sorcerer etc – that Lugh named there was already a practised master within the palace; but at last Lugh told the door keeper to go and ask Nuada if he knew of any one man who possessed all these arts. When Nuada heard of Lugh’s coming he said: “Let him come in, for never before has his like entered this fortress.”
The doorkeeper returned to Lugh and, curious, asked him which arts he counted as the greatest. Lugh replied: “Swimming forever without tiring, Carrying a cauldron with both elbows Outrunning the swiftest of horses Leaping on a bubble without breaking it.”
Then the doorkeeper bade him enter and went to open the fortress gates but Lugh prevented him saying: “Do not open the gates now for the sun has set and it is unlucky to unlock them till dawn.”
Then Lugh took three steps back and with one great leap cleared the fortress wall of Royal Tara and took his place at the Scholar’s Seat among the warriors of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
The Tuatha Dé fearing an early death for Lugh, precious as he was “owing to the multitude of his arts, ” decided to prevent him from entering the fray at Moy Tura too soon, but he escaped from his guardians and appeared in the vanguard of the warriors of the tuatha exhorting them to fight, moving like the wind through the ranks “on one foot, and with one eye” chanting his battle-song to lend them strength and courage.
He thus assumed the characteristic posture of a sorcerer mimicking the monstrous form that tradition has ascribed to the Fomor.
Eventually the battle turns in favour of the Tuatha Dé but Nuada of the Silver Arm is slain by Balor of the Evil Eye and the stage is set, in the great tradition of all sagas, for the final confrontation as Balor was the Fomors most terrible weapon and now the time had come to use it, for Balor could hear the taunts and jeers of the IL-Dána:
“Balor, I have come to take your life” he cried. “Who is this babbling youth?” asked Balor of Caithleann his wife.
“He is Lugh the Il-Dána,” she replied, “the son of your daughter Ethne and he has sworn to destroy you.”
“Lift up the lid of my eye so I can see the braggart who is taunting me,” said Balor. Now the Evil Eye was no ordinary eye but a deadly weapon that was never opened except on the battlefield. It was “a ruinous venomous weapon” that needed four strong men to raise the lid from the eye with a polished grappling iron hung on massive wheels and pulleys.
As the Evil Eye swept the battlefield its deadly gaze destroyed all who stood before it; whole troops of warriors lay withered in its wake and the tide of battle turned against the Tuatha Dé Danann. But Lugh had prepared himself well for this moment and cast a powerful “Lightning Weapon” (some accounts say “a great sling-stone”) that drove the Evil Eye through the head of Balor and turned it back on the army of the Fomor so that all those near it perished.

Chatter, scold, creature bold,
Warning all by your call.
Discovery, change,
bring within my range.
Warnings as free send to me.

Gathering, Activity, Preparedness
The gathering power of Squirrel is a great gift. It teaches us balance within the circle of gathering and giving out. They remind us that in our quest for our goals, it is vital to make time for play and socializing. Squirrel teaches us to conserve our energy for times of need. If your totem is Squirrel or Squirrel has recently entered your life, lighten your load of things that are unnecessary – things that you have gathered in the past and may be cluttering your life – thoughts, worries, and stresses.
Squirrel is also the totem of action. Ask yourself are you too active, not active enough, afraid of enough, hung up on accumulating and collecting.
Squirrel people tend to be a little erratic – trying to do many things at once. Take the time to stop and listen to your inner self – and don’t forget to play!

Animal Symbolism of the Squirrel

Squirrel Meaning and Symbolic Thoughts about Squirrels
When the squirrel comes into our lives it is often a message for us to have more fun, and take life a little less seriously. We can see this in the squirrel’s daily antics in our yards and surroundings.
However, other animal symbolism of squirrels deals with practicality. As the squirrel is commonly known to hide and save its food and return to it in the winter months – We take this as a sign in our own lives; a sign that it might be time to look into our own provisions. For example: Is it time to consider a retirement plan? Are we adequately insured? Or even as simple as doing simple and preventative repairs around the house.
Common summary of animal symbolism of the squirrel:
• Energy
• Play
• Prudence
• Balance
• Socializing
• Preparation
• Resourcefulness
It’s not commonly known that the squirrel only actually finds 10% of the nuts he hides for safekeeping. This is another message from the squirrel that we can also foolishly over-prepare. Here there is a lesson of balance to be considered. However, there is a higher significance in this message of finding our 10%. All those nuts our squirrels do not recover are all primed and ready to seed themselves. This means, that thanks to our furry friends, we are gifted with new generations of trees and plants sprouting from all the seeds and nuts burrowed in the soil by squirrels.
This symbolically coincides with the old adage “what we sow is what we reap.” What may seem like absent-mindedness is actually a strong message to us to be mindful of the metaphorical seeds we plant in our own lives as they we will surely reap the consequences. Squirrels are quite sociable, and are often seen in pairs or groups. Any amount of observation of the squirrel will reveal that it is a vocal creature as well, and using extensive communications – particularly when in play or when it feels threatened.
In this manner, the animal symbolism of squirrels addresses our ability to express ourselves in social settings. The squirrel reminds us to communicate effectively with others, and to honor those around us with our presence (rather than dishonor them with inappropriate or rude behavior).
The animal symbolism of this animal is also tied in with the fact that squirrels are solar creatures, and as such, they carry solar animal symbolism such as:
• Passion
• Energy
• Expression
• Vitality
As I often tell people asking me about animal totems, they are just as willing to communicate with us as we are with them. I would encourage you to meditate upon the squirrel, and ask it to reveal its message to you. Odds are it will share its own special messages with you.

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