December 29, 2007

Eagle Tattoos

Eagles as religious objects

Moche Eagle, A.D. 200, Larco Museum Collection, Lima, Peru.In Jewish tradition the eagle is a symbol of greatness, and leaders such as the medieval sage Maimonides and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, have been referred to by their peers and students as "The Great Eagle". The Torah compares God Himself to an eagle in Deuteronomy, 32.11-12. "As an eagle awakens its nest, hovering over its fledglings, it spreads its wings, taking them and carrying them on its pinions. [So] the Lord guided them [the Israelites] alone, and there was no alien deity with Him."

Eagle lecterns are very common in Christian churches and cathedrals. The eagle is the symbol used to depict John the Apostle, whose writing most clearly witnesses the light and divinity of Christ. In art, John, as the presumed author of the Gospel, is often depicted with an eagle, which symbolizes the height he rose in the first chapter of his gospel. See Names of John.

The eagle is a sacred bird in some cultures and the feathers of the eagle are central to many religious and spiritual customs, especially amongst Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada, as well as among many of the peoples of Meso-America. Some Native American peoples revere eagles as sacred religious objects and the feathers and parts of Bald and Golden Eagles are often compared to the Bible and crucifix. Eagle feathers are often used in various ceremonies and are used to honor noteworthy achievements and qualities such as exceptional leadership and bravery. In the cultures of the Northwest Coast, Eagle is also a supernatural being and also the ancestor and features in the heraldic crests of important clans known as totem poles.

The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped the animal and often depicted eagles in their art.

Despite modern and historic Native American practices of giving eagle feathers to non-indigenous people and also members of other tribes who have been deemed worthy, current United States eagle feather law stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious or spiritual use. In Canada, poaching of eagle feathers for the booming U.S. market has sometimes resulted in the arrests of First Nations person for the crime.
source: wikipedia

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