Feathers & Native American Indians

Native American Feathers
Indian Feathers

Native American feathers are an important symbol of the Indian way of life. It is used to represent freedom, power, wisdom, honor, trust, strength, and much more. Feathers were seen in wardrobes, headpieces, adorning their homes, and tattooed on their bodies.

The Native American feather was given as a sign of respect and honor. Native American who had a personal accomplishment or achieved something great for the tribe was often given feathers by chiefs or elders as a symbol of strength. The Native American with the most feathers in his headdress is usually the chief.

One must complete a brave deed in order to be given one of these feathers. For example, coming back from battle after conquering the enemy or returning from a hunt with food for the tribe would most likely earn a Native American feather. The feather could only be worn once the Indian has retold their story of bravery in front of an assembled tribal court.

Being given a feather of any kind was considered a gift. However, the feathers of Bald and Golden Eagles are considered the most prestigious. This is because Native Americans believe that because these eagles soar so high in the air they have a connection with the heavens. Eagles are believed to be sent by the gods. Eagles are the most important of all Native American feathers, because they are supposed to be the superior species of bird.

Once a Native American feather is given to a tribesman it must be displayed proudly. It can be hung in the home, or attached to an article of clothing. It is considered disrespectful to place the feather somewhere it can not be seen.

The individual in possession of the Native American feather is also responsible for it well being. It must be cared for and kept out of harms way. It should be seen a s a daily reminder of how one should behave. It should be kept clean and never touch the ground for any reason.

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feather headress indians

Indian Headdress

Although we may not know the symbolic meaning of Indian headdress, many people find them to be beautiful works of art. It is believed that the Sioux Indians created what is thought of as the traditional Indian headdress. This is the feathered headdress often seen on warriors and chiefs in paintings and pictures. Only the most brave and powerful of the tribe wore headdresses.

Before the invasion on their land of the white man, the custom of wearing Indian headdress spread through the many tribes. However, each headdress varies from tribe to tribe as it represents the culture of each tribe. The individual wearing it would often customize Indian headdresses, thus making it unique to that individual.

People always associate Indian headdress with feathers, but do you know what the feathers represent? Warriors earned a feather each time he did something the tribe felt was a brave act. Many times, the first feather earned by a warrior was given to him for being seen as an adult member of the tribe. However, the warrior was not just given the feather. The warrior had to prepare himself to receive such an honor and that often require days of fasting and meditation.

Each time the warrior earned a feather, he would either wear it (but he only wore a couple into battle) or put it on a pole used for special occasions. Once he had collected enough feathers, they were then made into a headdress. Because each feather had a special meaning, binding them together in a headdress made that Indian headdress even more special. Only the men, closest friends of the warrior, were involved in making the headdress. The Indian chiefs also “earned” each of their feathers. The most prized of all feathers to receive for an Indian headdress was the Golden Eagle feather. Because the Indians saw the eagle as a messenger of God, this feather could only be earned through hardship, loyalty, and strength.

Peacock

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Feather of Forrest Gump

feather forrestgump-feather

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feather paramount pictures forrest gump

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FEATHER VORTEX


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One Response to “Feathers & Native American Indians”

  1. WAR BONNET | Jnwandison Says:

    […] to (https://2012patriot.wordpress.com/feathers-native-american-indians/) Each feather that is on the headdress has is very own special meaning and so binding them together […]

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