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Old 05-11-2006, 01:03 PM   #1
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Question Eagle fan construction

I'm needing a few suggestions. I am working on a flat fan for my step dad (Cheyenne/Arapaho). I have only collected 4 eagle tail feathers.

Is it ever okay to make a flat fan with an even number of feathers?

Can you use other feathers in addition to the eagle or should it be just eagle feathers?

The 4 feathers I have are good size and when put together are about 8" wide, but I have no plumes or fluffs for the bottom. Any ideas would be helpful
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by native_designs
I'm needing a few suggestions. I am working on a flat fan for my step dad (Cheyenne/Arapaho). I have only collected 4 eagle tail feathers.

Is it ever okay to make a flat fan with an even number of feathers?

Can you use other feathers in addition to the eagle or should it be just eagle feathers?

The 4 feathers I have are good size and when put together are about 8" wide, but I have no plumes or fluffs for the bottom. Any ideas would be helpful

native_d,

There are no rules to making a fan for powwows. Each fan is made according to the makers skill and resources. Most fans today are eagle. However the trim at the base of the feathers often includes feathers from other birds.

I just made a fan (I still have a cut on my finger from whittling the handle *L). On the trim I ran out of white wing secondary feathers, so I used white feathers from a goose wing. Nobody can tell even if they looked close.

So in answer to your question, do what you will feel comfortable carrying.

It's your fan.
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:40 PM   #3
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fan ideas

hey, I've seen some fans that use a different kind of feather for the center feather..... usually an exotic bird of one sort or another.

My suggestion is (assuming you've got 2 left and 2 right, ideally in matched pairs or at least pretty close), use a macaw center tail feather for your center, w/ 2 feathers on either side. Just get a fat macaw feather, trim to the same length as the eagles, and start experimenting w/ the layout.

Since it's only gonna be 5 feathers total, I'd suggest not going too wide.... make the feather layout kinda rectangular shaped, about 6 inches wide at the bottom and the same at the top. 8" might be pushing it w/ that few feathers, so i'd really avoid having a big "spread" or "fan" to your layout.

oh yeah, pick a contrasting color of macaw feather for the center to look extra keen - like blue for black and white eagles, or scarlet/red for more solidly dark feathers like immature goldens or speckeldy balds.....
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Old 05-13-2006, 02:14 AM   #4
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"Is it ever okay to make a flat fan with an even number of feathers?"
Like WhoMe stated, it is okay to make a flat fan with whatever you have on hand. However in most cases, a flat fan is made with 5, 7, or 9 primary tail feathers, so that you have a center feather to balance the look. However, if you are fortunate to have a full tail of say 12 primary feathers, then you would have the option of to use all 12, or to use 11 and save one for something else.

"Can you use other feathers in addition to the eagle or should it be just eagle feathers?"
In my opinion, it depends on how the fan is going to be used. For some folks, if a flat fan is going to be used during some prayer ceremonies for example, they prefer the primary feathers to be just eagle. For others, there may not be such a hard line about the types of feathers used. If as Str8Dancer49 has said, you have 2 right and 2 left primary eagle tail feathers, then it might look good to have a center feather from some other bird. Macaw is definitely a good choice. You may also want to consider some of the very fine looking hand painted immitation eagle feathers available at some traders. With some careful matching to the coloration of the 4 feathers you already have, a hand painted feather might look good also.

These are some sites you may want to look at:
http://www.crazycrow.com/Merchant2/m...de=540-500-000

http://store.wanderingbull.com/imeagfeat.html

http://www.eidnesfurs.com/feather.htm

"The 4 feathers I have are good size and when put together are about 8" wide, but I have no plumes or fluffs for the bottom. Any ideas would be helpful."
The plumes or fluffs at the bottom are often from different birds than the primary feathers. In the 60s and 70s they were colored hackles (rooster neck feathers). However, you can also get hand painted body feathers from the above mentioned sites also. Like WhoMe mentioned, some Canadian Goose feathers match up very well also.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:49 PM   #5
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Since your feathers are as large as you say they are, you may want to consider using just 3. I'm not sure of their position in the tail. but if they are all in the middle, or if they are 1 of each side with a middle one.

You can find feathers, that would look good for base feathers in a catalog or at a vendors booth.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
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if you are looking for hand painted feather try real legal feathers,realleagfeathers.com they are the closes to the real thing i have found that arenot stiff from being painted
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