American Indian Beaded Feathers

Interested in learning about Indian beaded feathers? Read on to see how Indian beaded feathers are utilized as prayer feathers and fans...

American Indians believe that feathers were the basic gifts provided to them from the Great Spirit. These were highly coveted because prayers could be sent on the feathers from or to the Spirit. In order to emphasize the importance and value of these feathers, they were often decorated and embellished and most commonly this was done with the use of a variety of stonework, bones and beads.

Each Indian tribe had their own unique symbols which were incorporated in rare feathers. They have survived the displacement and evolution of Indian culture and are still used traditionally for the art of healing and prayer.

Ancient times saw the use of customized materials as far back as the 17th century for embellishing the prayer feathers and feather fans.  The basic idea was to put your entire energy and spirit into each feather by decorating it. Therefore a great deal of ceremonial activity surrounded the creation of the feather and they were crafted with passion and love.

The Art and Craft of Indian Beaded Feathers

The ancient art of creating Indian beaded feathers is still prevalent amongst various tribes settled in Central America and North America. There are interesting feather fans and prayer feathers available which are a collection of birds of prey feathers. These are collected under license from birds which molt and none of the creatures is harmed because it would defeat the purpose of the creation of this prayer feather. Often if the purpose of using these feathers is decoration then basic turkey feathers are crafted and painted to replicate those of the American Eagle, giant Canada goose, swans and crows.

Different Styles of Indian Beaded Feather Fans

These decorated fans are available in a myriad of styles and use feathers from different birds which are embellished with stones and leather. Traditionally you can find the feathers of peacocks and turkeys which are tied with the fur of a badger and embellished with clear quartz crystal and complemented by blue or yellow beads. Apart from this you can have amethyst crystals to decorate chicken or owl feathers which have buffalo fur hanging from it and is complemented by a leather handle.

This is garnished with a purple ceramic bead which is shaped like a bird. Another decorated feather created out of goose and pheasant feathers has wolf fur tying it together with the band on the base. This is decorated with a leather handle that is created in silver moonstone and embellished with beads created out of a ceramic base. Imitation feathers painted to look like the American eagle are often wrapped to create a buckskin leather handle and decorated with leather braids. It is finished off with coyote fur and created to replicate the authentic native Indian prayer feather and feather fan.

How To Care For Prayer Feathers And Native Indian Feather Fans

Since these feathers are handmade and braided with detailed embellishment you need to care for them gently. You should use them and allow air to cross through the fans to keep them clean and fresh. Do not weigh them down with too many decorations and clutter but do display them on a wall and enjoy them while they are kept safe. If you want to store them you can put them with cedar chips to keep them fresh and crisp.

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