The area in which I live in New Jersey is known for its ties to Native American Indians. Due to my basic knowledge that Native Americans have numerous legends that tend to explain elements of Mother Nature and other phenomenon, I did a quick search on what thunder/lightning means to them.
According to Native American legend, “thunder is the sound of the wings of the men who fly above. The lightning we see is the fire and smoke of their pipes.”
In the above quotation, the men who fly above refers to spirits or beings of those who have passed away. The fire and smoke of their pipes refers to the hobby of many Native Americans which was smoking out of a pipe.