The Death of Cloud Eagle…

I was so very sad to learn that Ernest Eugene “Bo” Mirabal “Cloud Eagle” recently passed away. Cloud Eagle, the celebrated Nambe Pueblo artist, educator, spiritual and community leader, passed away on October 13, 2011, at only 51 years old (apparently technically 12 years old, as a Leap Year Baby). His father is Ernest Mirabal, and he is the Governor of Nambe Pueblo. Oddly, it has been 11 years since I had the pleasure to acquaint myself with this unique soul. I met Cloud Eagle as a reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican in 2000. Familiar with the symbolic work of the sculptor, I decided I wanted to interview him. I remember being amazed by the various tools he used in his studio to define two-dimensional and three-dimensional imagery in stone and bronze. The visit felt magical, as I took on my artistic form and the reporter vanished. The buffalo roamed nearby, and this is the place where the symbolic White Buffalo Dance takes place. The pueblo native focused his work on the cycle of life, and the beauty of nature. Capturing his most powerful quote, which I still recall with a moving vividness, he said “while working with stone, I perceive subtle shadows and hidden forms.” Cloud Eagle was “a catalyst, releasing the underlying imagery within the stone.” I remember feeling that his work embodied my belief- what is meant to be is meant to be. He was simply there as an artistic instrument to record that which was inescapably inherent. The loss of this multimedia artist, and writer will be felt by many. Cloud Eagle surely touched, and will continue to touch the spirits of so many.  Just as one of his bronze sculptures of a beautiful horse, he is now truly a “free spirit.”

Obituary of Cloud Eagle_10.13.2011

Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Artists, History, New Mexico, News, Positive Energies, Quotes, Spiritual, Symbols and Imagery, Writers

35 Comments on “The Death of Cloud Eagle…”

  1. Phillip Kansa/Spirit Bear Says:

    Cloud Eagle, “Bo” was truly a great person. We brought many groups from Germany just to work and be with him at his sanctuary and studio.
    We, Elke and Phil, aka Phillip Kansa,aka Spirit Bear loved and respected this great man, who called us brother and sister. No one who loved him and worked with him will ever forget this great and wonderful man.

    • flujan Says:

      Yes- I agree… I felt that the one thing I could do for Cloud Eagle was to honor his legacy. If there were more people around like him, this planet would be a more beautiful place. He has awakened many. Once our eyes and spirits are open, we can continue to learn, grow, and love completely. Thank You for sharing your thoughts…

    • Richard Murias Says:

      Phillip, were you the guy who came to Melbourne with Cloud Eagle?
      I have just found this web page and have added my story below.

  2. Nakiva Mirabal Says:

    its so amazing to find these websites about my father…. he is very loved and lives in all our hearts! i know he is free and flying with the eagles…… he was an amazing artist, great speaker and the most wonderful grandfather…. i love u dad and always will!

    love your lil lulu
    143 ❤

    • flujan Says:

      Nakiva- What a beautiful name… I am so happy that you were able to find my site. I see your discovery of my thoughts as a good sign. Your father was a great man. He will always be remembered. I was a reporter when I met him, but now I am an archivist with a deep love of history, real people, and our collective memory. His artistic and paternal contribution to our collective memory will live on. I am also originally from Pojoaque, and will remain connected. Many you find comfort and peace in the good memories of others… Thank you for visiting my site, and thank you for your comment.
      -Sincerely- Felicia

  3. Cloud Eagle (Bo),

    Was a great friend to me and my family. He was very giving and wouldn’t hesitate to give anything he could and lend a hand whenever anyone asked. He even gave me and my brother the opportunity to work for him when we were younger and it was a good feeling to work for Bo and earn a paycheck. Our bonus was a bag of apricots from his apricot tree or jerky he would give us. He was very supportive of me when I served as Governor of Nambe and was a big brother figure to me. He made a beautiful Councilman cane for me and several other Council officials. His artistic ability was incredible. He was also very supportive of the youth in our community.

    I will forever remember him for his many gifts and generosity to everyone.

    Thomas Talache, former governor
    Nambe Pueblo

    • flujan Says:

      It is so good top hear these beautiful stories about a good person. I am sure you are aware of the importance of oral history. You have great stories to share about Cloud Eagle. I can only imagine the cane. I am sure it is lovely.

      Thank you for you heartfelt comment.

  4. gary Says:

    Ernest thank you for so much and for the beautiful gift, rest in peace bro… Gary Ramirez

  5. gary Says:

    Your the best!!!



    • flujan Says:

      Thank you for posting a comment Roy… It amazes me that people have been able to connect back to the memory of Bo through my site. I would love to hear more about your story. Tears of Joys sounds like a beautiful piece. It is nice that part of Cloud Eagle remains with you in Seattle.

    • paige mirabal Says:

      Hello I am paige cloud eagle’s eldest daughter. I always wondered where the tears of joy ended up. That piece was my ultimate favorite. My dad made the tears of joy when I was in my mothers belly. I loved to hear him tell me the story of how happy he was when he knew I was girl, so he made the tears of joy. I miss him so much. I feel so honored and lucky to have had him as my father. And im glad I got to give him his first grand daughter who he adored so much. Now with another one the way I’m hoping its a boy so he can be just like his grandpa. Enjoy the tears of joy its truly one of a kind!

      • flujan Says:

        Oh my… Wow- Paige! I can’t believe this! You are his eldest daughter? That is so awesome that somehow through my site you were brought to information on your father’s Tears of Joy sculpture! I have been wanting to contact everyone and write something about all those who admired your father. I plan to do that one day. I wish I could see the sculpture in person someday.

  7. […] friend Cloud Eagle used to say, that each and every one of us brings their unique colour to the circle.  If one is […]

  8. Jared Joseph Says:

    Inspiration, dedication and determination. Loving, caring, passionate and peaceful. A man of knowledge and insight, a teacher a listener and most of all a true friend who thought me many valuable life lessons. Creator of art and a warriors heart. A great man who could truly see beauty in the most simple things. Those are some of the things that come to mind when i think of CLOUD EAGLE. Thank you for making the world a more beautiful place for all of us. You will be missed. Now go, fly with the eagles. Nothing but love brother.!!!

  9. Natanni Says:

    He was my father. Now I’m trying to handle the studio and gallery. It’s pretty tough.

    • flujan Says:

      Natanni– I am so proud of you. Don’t give up. A son is intended to carry on the legacy of his father. Be brave. His spirit needs you.

  10. paige mirabal Says:

    Thank you felicia for making this wed site for my father . I know there are so many people out there who’s lives he had touched . my brother natanni is taking care of the studio now and one day he will be a great leader like my father. We miss him so much, I feel his time was too short here on earth. But creator needed him and now he is in a better place . I dream of him often and tht I’m tahnkful for. I love u dad so much and squishy say she loves n misses u too …love always ur peachy!

    • flujan Says:

      Oh my Paige- of course. The honor was mine. His story has received so many hits on my site. He was such an inspiration to so many people. At some point, I would love to pull all the stories together. I am sure your father would be so proud of your brother Natanni for carrying on the legacy. That is awesome- I am sure it is not easy. Some day I would love to meet all of you in person.

  11. bubas, peaches, lulu, I wish you all a blessed holiday. Thankyou for this website. I love you all soooo much. please cal… anytime or email lulu has my address. My new number is 256-379-2041. much love……..Aunt Debbie. ps congrats peaches on our new baby!!!!

  12. winescl Says:

    I greet you all with sadness. I just a few minutes ago discovered that Cloud Eagle transitioned over a year ago. I met him when he was in San Diego several years ago, and we talked on the phone for about a year after that, but I never had the chance to go visit him in Nambe, nor was he able to get back to San Diego. I have been trying to contact him several times during the past year or so, but was never able to get through on any of the numbers I had for him — now I know why. Tonight I decided to try my luck with “google”, and discovered this site. To say that I am stunned and shocked is an understatement. I think the full impact will not hit me for a while.

    I know he is flying free and sharing his bouteous talents and huge heart with those in the Next Place, but I miss him here. And I want to extend my condolences to all his family, of whom he spoke with great pride and love. Blessings of peace and love, Christine Wines, San Diego.

    • Felicia Says:

      Christine– it is amazing how many people have found my post on Cloud Eagle by searching for him. I am planning to do a story about him by pulling together his stories. There are so many- even his children found my site. I have never met them, but I really want to. I am sorry you had to learn about the loss of a friend from a complete stranger. His loss has been felt amongst so many people.

      Take care- Felicia

      • winescl Says:

        Hi Felicia! Thanks for replying to my post. I’m glad I found your site, because I had been wondering about Bo for a couple years. Please do collect the stories. I’d love to read them. Bo had invited me to Nambe some years ago. I am a healer and sometimes perform sacred rituals, and he had wanted us to do some ceremonies at some sacred springs and waterfall on their land. I regret that I never “found the time” to make the trip.

        Anyway, I’m glad to hear from you. It’s sharing our memories and connections that allow our loved ones to live forever! Blessings, Felicia!


  13. winescl Says:

    (I misspelled a word above. I meant “bounteous talents and huge heart.”)

  14. Richard Murias Says:

    My name is Richard Murias. I am 53 years old. I am a doctor of medicine and live in Brisbane, Australia.
    I have always been interested in indigenous art and people. My parents were born in Poland. They instilled in me, through their cultural traditions a keen interest in life as it was when there was a closer relationship between the bounty of the natural world and peoples every day lives.
    My grandfather taught me at a very early age to appreciate the beauty of nature from the vivid colours of bird feathers to the serenity of an evening breeze blowing through tall grass.
    Given the opportunity to travel, made possible by a gift from my grandmother, I followed my childhood memories to far away lands whose images had been imprinted in primary school during geography classes. It was one of those images of the Taos pueblo that led me to Santa Fe in about 1990. What a pleasant surprise when I finally arrived.
    I had paid to attend a conference on Tropical Medicine (I think). I attended the conference venue to register but was so in awe of my surroundings I didn’t attend any of the lectures. Instead I explored the town and the surroundings including Canyon Road as well as some of the surrounding countryside including Acoma, Ohe Caliente, Taos and the Nambe Pueblo.
    I did my homework before arriving and took a room at the magnificent Inn of the Anasazi. I was in my element on arrival. I loved the contemporary feel of the hotel design.
    Right beside the hotel was a gallery. I wandered in on the second day and was immediately attracted to some very powerful sculptures. I was approached by the gallery owner who asked me if I would like to meet the sculptor. He was coming by the gallery a little later. I thanked the lady and said I’d like that very much.
    I returned at the prearranged time. I was excited at the opportunity to meet a native American. I had never met anyone with a name like “Cloud Eagle”. It is fair to say, I had never met anyone as big as Cloud Eagle. Despite his physical presence, he had a peaceful gentleness that made our disproportionate sizes melt into obscurity.
    I listened to his story of the stones and the way he described the raw stones talking to him and influencing their final form.
    We spoke for some time. He could see that I was interested in his work so he graciously invited me to his studio.
    He drove me to his home. As we drove up the driveway, the land was covered in stones of various sizes and colours. The parched landscape could in no way have predicted the final form of the smooth and shiny sculptural elements that emerged like a chrysalis from a dry pupa.
    I met Cloud Eagle’s wife Constance who offered me some soup. We talked some more and I had a very enjoyable afternoon.
    Coincidentally, Cloud Eagle mentioned that there was a chance that he may be coming to Australia on some sort of Trade Mission.
    About a month after my return to Australia, I received a phone call from him to say that the trip was on.
    He arrived in Melbourne with his wife and friend who was also a very fine jeweller.
    I said that I would pick them up in my car. What I didn’t count on was the collective weight of three ‘large’ people in my small car. The engine struggled to climb and small hill on the way to the hotel.
    The visit went well.
    Before we said goodbye, Cloud Eagle gave me a gift of a small bear he had carved. The bear was carved from a white stone, much like quartz. He had tied some small feathers and beads to the bear and had told me of their significance. Unfortunately I cannot remember what their significance is. I still have the bear and look upon it with great fondness and now regret in reminder of a gentle giant of a man whose eyes and stories helped open up the door to the natural world. A world first shown to me by a similarly large man, my grandfather.
    Rest in Peace CLoud Eagle.
    PS Could you please send a copy of this message to Constance and the second man I mentioned in the story. I think he was a bear dancer as well as a jeweller.

    • ~Felicia~ Says:


      That was such a lovely story. Thank you so much for sharing that with everyone. You know sometime soon- I do plan on pulling together all of these wonderful and moving stories which have been submitted on this site. Cloud Eagle was a loved man. That I have confirmed.

  15. Katie Says:

    I am saddened to hear about Cloud Eagles passing. I had no idea. I have the joy of meeting him and visiting his studio with his father, a dear lifelong friend of my father, Maynard Eakan. He has left a remarkable mark on a truly beautiful family and community.

  16. […] Freund Cloud Eagle sagte oft, dass jede und jeder Einzelne von uns ihre/ seine einzigartige Farbe zum Kreis bringt.  […]

  17. Dan Wright Says:

    I knew Cloud Eagle when he was a high-school student at Wasatch Academy in ’77 and ’78. He was two years older than me. I looked up to him. I remember him as being creative, intuitive, and artistic, and also rowdy and witty.
    We had a great art teacher named Mrs. Olmstead, who must certainly have inspired Ernest’s art skills. Here are yearbook photos from his junior and senior year in high school:

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