Feathers Symbol

Native Indian Tribe

Meaning of the Feathers Symbol

Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation through Symbols and Signs such as the Feathers symbol.

 

The symbolic meaning of different feathers and the purpose that they were used for varied from tribe to tribe, however, in all tribes certain feathers were revered. The meaning of the feathers symbol signified honor & connected the user with the Creator. Decorated feathers were sometimes attached to sacred tobacco pipes during important ceremonies and used as ‘smudge’ feathers, used to direct the purifying smoke of burning tobacco, cedar, sage  or sweet grass in Smudging Rituals.

The Feathers Symbol - Meaning
The feathers of the Red-tailed Hawk and the eagle are considered sacred to many Native Americans and are sometimes used in religious ceremonies and rituals. The feathers of brightly colored birds such as blue jays and cardinals were used for their medicine by spiritual leaders. The feathers of birds were highly esteemed for adornment and symbols of status. However, owl feathers symbolized death or prophesy.

Native American Legends relating to the feathers of the Turkey
Numerous Native American Indian legends deal with birds and the origin of the various colors of feathers. The Navajo tribe believe that when all living things climbed to the stalk of a bamboo to escape the Flood, the wild turkey was on the lowest branch and his tail feathers trailed in the water. This why the feathers of the wild turkey have no color - it was all washed out.

The Feathers Symbol - Native American Regalia
The Indian feather war bonnet is the most famous feather headdress created by Native Americans. Not every Indian was free to wear the feather headdress. Only warriors who had displayed extra ordinary acts of bravery in the battle fields were allowed to wear one.

The Feathers Symbol - Meaning
There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common meaning of the Feathers symbol or pattern. Native Indian symbols are still used as Tattoos and were used for a variety of reasons and depicted on numerous objects such as tepees, totem poles, musical instruments, clothes and War Paint. Indian Tribes also used their own Colors for Symbols and designs depending on the natural resources available to make Native American paint.

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