Indian Feathers are often found in Native American headdresses; however they are also used as decorative items. Sometimes they are tied into locks of hair and other times they are worn on a head band. Feathers are used for prayer as well as in dream catchers and bows and arrows. A lot of work goes into creating these beautiful decorative feathers.
Different species of Indian feathers had different meanings. Eagle Feathers are the most respected by the Native American people. Eagle feathers are thought to show courage, strength, truth and majesty. In fact many Native American people believed that all birds of prey had a special connection with God. The golden eagle in particular was thought to be a messenger for God. It was believed that the eagle carried messages from man to God and from God to man.
Owl feathers were said to be magic talisman by some Indian Tribes. The Owl Feather, especially the snow owl feather, was often seen as very spiritual and was sometimes used on talking sticks to prevent deception from entering the sacred circle.
The meanings of Indian feathers differ from tribe to tribe. In some tribes feathers are given to others for acts of bravery. In other tribes feathers are used to keep a count of how many enemies have been killed. In many tribes only men were allowed to wear feathers; however there are tribes in which women are permitted to wear elaborate headdresses.
In the United States it is illegal to possess and sell feathers of Migratory Birds without a permit. This includes Black Hawks, Eagles, Cranes and several other native species. People who are certifiable Native Americans and registered to a tribe that is recognized by the federal government are the only people allowed to possess eagle feathers. Fines are steep for anyone who is illegally found in possession of an eagle feather.