The Eagle Feather...A Spiritual Meaning

topic posted Fri, April 27, 2007 - 9:24 AM by  White Wolf

The Eagle Feather...
A Spiritual Meaning
In all of Native American mythology, the earliest influence of a bird was the Eagle. So mystical was the Eagle, that the United States adopted it as its emblem.
The United States officials who chose the eagle as the nation's logo were well aware of the symbolic meaning the Native American Peoples placed on the Eagle.
Ironically, the endangered situation of the bald eagle is due not to the American Indian but to the ignorance of the white American hunters.
All bird feathers had a common Native American symbolic meaning. Feathers were used for decoration, insulation, waterproofing, accessories, garments, making arrows for flight, for ceremonial purposes, and many other things.
The perceived mystery and power of the Eagle gave the feather a certain value. For some tribes feathers were given for various deeds. Eagle feathers among different tribes represented certain kinds of status.
For some Native American Indian tribes, it was possible to tell someone's deeds and their ranking, by looking at their feathers...The type of feather, the color of feather, the modifications to the feather, how many feathers were displayed, or even a look at the way a feather was worn.
The Virginia Indian word for feathers is . . . "Ahpewk"
The Hopi clan actually had an ancestral eagle nest in the surrounding Mesas. Each clan member had the right to capture a young eagle. Bringing the sacred eagle to the home would bring blessing to the household.
The Zuni people give a much greater value to eagle feathers that fall from the eagle naturally. They have many myths and even carve eagle eggs which are placed in shrines during winter solstice.
Their are ceremonial Feather Dances, Feather Religions, Prayer Feathers, and other practical uses for sacred eagle feathers, common to native peoples.
Some tribes will hold a special Feather Dance to sanctify an eagle feather that has accidentally fallen to the ground.
For the Native American Peoples, Eagles are one of the most revered and sacred spirit animals...and, with great importance placed on their feathers.
The Eagle Feather was used in many ceremonies.
Today, many eagle feathers have been replaced by turkey feathers or goose feathers whose tip has been dipped in black ink...true eagle feathers not available because of the United States laws. Although, hundreds of birds are frozen
and kept by the government, Native Americans must go through a maze of paperwork, at times being put on a waiting list for up to Two years . . . for One Eagle Feather.

posted by:
White Wolf
  • this is very true, me and my husband were riding ina meadow in the high country one day, i say it was about 1:00 in the afternoon, and there was a eagle flying over head, it as way up there, then as i watched from behind this feather floated from the sky and landed on his cowboy hat, i was totally stunned, i told him to reach up and grab his hat and he grabbed the feather.....

    he still has it to this day, kept very well hidden and in a safe place, that was 20 years ago.............blessings

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