Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": TIRAWA, THE SUPREME GOD OF THE PAWNEE


Once among the strongest tribes of the Plains Indians, the Pawnee were found from the shores of the Platte River in Nebraska south to the Arkansas River. Today they live mostly in Oklahoma.

'The white man' said the Kurahus, 'speaks of a heavenly Father; we say Tirawa atius, the Father above, but we do not think of Tirawa as a person. We think of Tirawa as in everything, as the Power which has arranged and thrown down from above everything that man needs. What the Power above, Tirawa atius, is like, no one knows; no one has been there.'
When Kawas explains to the Kurahus the meaning of the signs in the East, 'she tells him that Tirawa atius there moves upon Darkness, the Night, and causes her to bring forth the Dawn. It is the breath of the new-born Dawn, the child of Night and Tirawa atius, which is felt by all the powers and all things above and below and which gives them new life for a new day.'

H.B. Alexander, The World's Rim (University of Nebraska Press, 1953) p.132

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