Eagle Chief & Sun Box
EXHIBITION:Annual Framing & Framed Art Sale
“There are many shared stories in the Pacific Northwest Indigenous community as it has been for many generations. A story communicates very complex concepts which help to teach values, lessons and knowledge with ties to emotions created by the storyteller.
Known by many nations is the story of Eagle Chief and the Sun Box. This variation tells of an Eagle Chief who kept a box that held the sun and the stars within it. This box was a true treasure and literally marked a time when the sky was but a void of true emptiness. The Eagle chief kept the box in his house away from the people outside. He would open it to admire it from time to time and the house would glow from outside.
One day a man among the people spoke with the chief when he came out. He questioned his role of chief and that he had power. The chief was insulted and left him. What the chief didn’t know was that the man saw inside the house and knew if the lid of the box was removed the sun would rise out to light the sky. For several days the man kept at the chief until one day he let him inside. He brought the box out and opened the lid slightly for him to look inside. The man leaned back unsatisfied he said, “a chief with real power could open it and hold the light himself”. The chief was angry but removed the lid entirely. The house shook and the light was beaming out. The man laughed as the chief tried to get the lid back on but it was too late: the Sun was rising into the sky through the smoke hole of the house. At that moment the Eagle chief transformed and flew up to try to catch it, but it was far above. He cried into the sky and has remained in that form since.
The man returned to the people who could all admire the beauty of the sunlight that shined down upon them.”
-Shaun Peterson / Qwalsius