See what storm you can raise with this wooden Thunderbird totem-pole souvenir from British Columbia
For colourful legendary characters with Rajinikanth-like supernatural powers, the mythology of the animistic First Nations communities in the Pacific Northwest is hard to beat. Many of the characters, like the Raven, the Killer Whale, and the Hummingbird, symbolise the spiritual resonance between the people and their natural environment. But arguably the most supernatural being in this pantheon, and the one whose story intrigued me the most during a recent visit to Whistler town in British Columbia, is the gigantic Thunderbird, who (folks believe) unleashes thunder when it flaps its wing and sets off lightning when it blinks its eyes. I procured this wooden Thunderbird totem-pole souvenir at the Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler for CAD 25 and gifted it to my sister-in-law, an interior designer with a fondness for curios imbued with mythological characteristics. It now sits in her living room in New Delhi, and ever since it got here, the capital has been resounding with thunder and aflicker with lightning. Disbelieving fools may attribute all this to the monsoon, but me: I credit the Thunderbird for this meteorological phenomenon.