Skip to main content

Eagle Dance Performed by Members of the Cochiti Pueblo at 2000 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

American Indian Pueblo cultural expressions invoke many animal personas. The eagle is revered as a symbol of wisdom, strength of vision and heart, and higher consciousness. Like other animals, the eagle is honored through a variety of intricately choreographed dances. The dances use sound and movement to tell stories communicating themes common to the human experience: creation, migration and survival, plantings and harvests, births and deaths, the changing of seasons, the movement of constellations. This Eagle Dance, accompanied by drumming, is performed by members of the Cochiti Pueblo from the banks of the Rio Grande River, between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico.