Slo'w - The Great Eagle Chief


In Chumash Mythology, Slo'w is the Great Eagle who lives above the earth as a powerful force in the Sky. When Slo'w stretches his wings, it is believed he causes the phases of the moon. Slo'w's wing span sustains the Upper World, and when there is an eclipse of the moon, it is thought his wings are covering the glowing orb.
Slo'w's companions in the Sky Pantheon of powerful beings were Sky Coyote, Sun, and Morning Star. As you will learn in the stories we have selected, these four mighty beings controlled the weather on Earth, and determined the form in which First People were made.
Not always benevolent, the Sky Beings had the power to punish First People as well. Slo'w, from his stationery position in the sky may also have been a stern judge of First People, as it was thought he lived surrounded by " hills and hills of bleaches white bones that can be seen from afar. They are the bones of people of this world that Slo'w has eaten. Slo'w has neither wife nor family. He is never referred to as a relative - only as a - he who commands. He is very patient. He is always in the sky, thinking. "1
The following two stories selected from Chumash Mythologies are The Sky People and The Making of Man.
1. From December's Child, a collection of Chumash mythologies and stories compiled by Thomas C. Blackburn. Published by University of California Press, c. 1975. Other suggested reading, The Chumash People, materials for teachers and students, published by The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Return to Coyote's Campfire