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Transcript

FEATHERS

in Native Americans

What are they for ?

Their meaning :

- The number 1 meant that the warrior was wounded during a fight.

- The number 2 meant that the warrior gave five blows to his opponent.
- The number 3 meant that the warrior either seriously injured or killed his opponent.
- The number 4 meant that the warrior took the life of his opponent.

- The number 5 meant that the warrior killed and took the scalp of his opponent.
- The number 6 meant that the warrior gave four blows to his opponent.
- The number 7 meant that the warrior cut the throat of his opponent.
- The number 8 meant that the warrior was wounded multiple times.

For the chiefs who wore plumes, it was a proof of power according to the feathers of the animal they wore because when the chiefs wore feathers it was to appropriate the power of the animal in question. For the warriors, feathers were sacred, each feather, placed in their headdress representing one exploits in battle.

Bird feathers :

Native Americans most often wore eagle or falcon feathers because these animals are symbols of power so when they wore their feathers they were appropriating their powers. The eagle feather was the most valued and hardest ornament to have, as a feather was equal to an act of bravery. Those who possessed an eagle feather had great authority. The eagle feather is also a symbol of wisdom.

The falcon feather was also a symbol of healing. But the Amerindians did not only possess hawk or eagle feathers, they also possessed raven featherq which are symbols of balance, foresight and skill. They were offered to young boys who wished to become warriors. There is also hummingbird feather for love as well as the dove feather which is a symbol of peace and fertility.

Their importance (history) :

When the Native Americans pulled the feathers of the eagle they had to cry to show their respect for the spirit of the eagle. Also during the powwow (gatherings) when a dancer dropped a feather the whole festival was stopped to perfom a ceremony to honor the feather in a respectful and sacred way.