Feathers are widely believed among North American Indians to signify the connection between The Creator, the owner of the feather, and the bird from whom the feather came. Deeply revered, the feather symbolizes high honor, power, wisdom, trust, strength, and freedom.
In Native American culture it is believed that all things possess an inherent virtue, power, and wisdom. The feather, for example, is a powerful symbol that signifies honor and a connection between the owner, the Creator, and the bird from which the feather came.
The reason why feathers are so important to Native Americans is that they serve as the symbol of the Indian way of life. A feather can be a symbol of many things in different tribes – trust, honour, strength, wisdom, power, and freedom, for example. Native American culture believes in animalism.
Many Native American tribes consider the presentation of an eagle feather to be one of the highest marks of respect. An honored person must have earned their feather through selfless acts of courage and honour, or been gifted them in gratitude for their work or service to their community or Nation.
The Cherokee have never worn feather headdresses except to please tourists. These long headdresses were worn by Plains Indians and were made popular through Wild West shows and Hollywood movies. Cherokee men traditionally wore a feather or two tied at the crown of the head.
The feather often represents strength and growth, as well as hope and freedom. Birds fly freely in the clouds, closest to the spirit realm. Sometimes when a feather is in our path, it may be perceived as a message from the other side. Feathers can symbolize ascension, spirit, flight and even heaven.
Native Americans may also legally possess eagle feathers and parts acquired through certain other means. Native Americans may give feathers or other eagle items as gifts to other Native Americans and may hand them down within their families. They may not, however, give them to non-Native Americans.
The discovery of a black feather in the house or on the ground suggests you’re not alone. An angel watches over you, encouraging you to move forward — to hold on. In some cases, the feather could be a symbol that a lost loved one is still looking in on you, offering you protection to help you stay strong.
For Native Americans headdresses can be seen as a sacred item. It is normally earned through exploit.” The eagle feathers in the headdress are revered and worn for specific ceremonial occasions. “They are not everyday wear,” he says.
Crazy Horse put no make-up on his forehead and did not wear a war bonnet. Lastly, he was given a sacred song that is still sung by the Oglala people today and he was told he would be a protector of his people.
The Aztecs would use brightly colored feathers in headdresses worn by their leaders, including the great Aztec emperor Moctezuma. The Aztecs held many rituals involving human sacrifices to the gods, but birds were also sacrificed during high religious ceremonies.
A breechcloth is a long rectangular piece of tanned deerskin, cloth, or animal fur. It is worn between the legs and tucked over a belt, so that the flaps fall down in front and behind. In some tribes, the breechcloth loops outside of the belt and then is tucked into the inside, for a more fitted look.