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Sunrise Eagle Muchacho Blanket. Thunderbird is important to many tribes and nations. He is often a messenger and a protector who brings the power of storms and the renewal that follows. In Navajo culture, some legends say Thunderbird's eye made of the sun. When Thunderbird sleeps, night comes. When Thunderbird wake , sunrise begins. Southwest symbols for rain, sun, storms are governed by Thunderbird's mighty wingspan and voice of thunder. He watches over the world with eyes that hold the sun.