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Old 04-10-2002, 05:25 AM   #1
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Cool Eagle Plumes

:ChatterMy daughters started dancing last year, they don't have any eagle plumes for their hair. When at pow wows I see eagle plumes like there is no tomorrow, some dancers have their hair just covered with them.

:WaveIs it traditional to have the eagle plumes "given" to them or where does one aquire them. I mean no disrespect to the spirit of the eagle, that is why I haven't sought out to buy them. My oldest daughter had some eagle feathers given to her when she won a teen girls fancy special, these she wears in her hair, but that is all she has, I have made her plumes using plumes I bought from a craft store.

:HelpAny advise would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-10-2002, 10:40 PM   #2
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i was always taught you earned them from somethjing you did or some one giving them to you for a purpose. my mother never allowed for me to wear them upright either till i was a women. i know when i got older my father gave me one to teach me respect and responsibility. also what they represent and mean. i still wear my 1st one from when i was crowned a princess.
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Old 04-11-2002, 04:30 AM   #3
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Cool Eagle Plumes

:Chatter Thankyou for your insight on this delicate subject. I appreciate your honesty. My daughter is a young woman now and she is in her last year of teen girls fancy shawl. I live in British Columbia and this is where the eagles come for the winter.
Do I ask an elder to come with me to retrieve the feathers off the trees and offer an offering(tobacco)? Am I allowed to pick the plumes up that have fallen on the ground or are they considered "fallen warriors".
:dontknow: I ask these questions with the utmost respect, I do want to acquire the eagle plumes in a respectful way to our culture.
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:49 AM   #4
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The Best thing to do is...

I recived my plumes when i was a young girl. I think that it is tradition that they are given to you. Nowadays you can trade things for them. But it is a great honour when they are given to you. Or else you could ask around to where people get their plumes from, like other dancers and such...(lol...well i guess that's what your doing)

But as for the picking them up and everything from the trees and such...I believe that you should go and talk to an elder who knows more about these things..instead of asking the internet people..(but i don't mean no disrespect to anyone) It's just that i think the best advice is to ask an elder about that. Then you would get the appropriate answer.

Umm...hope i helped if any. Thanks

:)
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Old 04-25-2002, 10:06 AM   #5
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I'll just give my two cents. I'm not trying to argue with anyone, just giving a different perspective. I was taught that women didn't "earn" plumes like men earned feathers. It makes sense when you think about it ("oh, she makes some baaaad-asss wasna! Let's give her a feather!" Jokes!). I was taught that the plume was given to young women when they married. This plume meant that they were ready to take on the woman's role of taking care of relatives and community. It meant that she was someone who could be counted on to help in the community. Me and my cousin got our plumes when we were old enough to understand what it meant to wear them (although before we got married).

I think traditions change over the years and there's nothing wrong with evolving traditions. You have to pick the traditions that makes sense to you according to your values. If it makes sense that someone shouldn't wear a feather upright until a certain age, go with it. If it makes sense that plumes are earned, go with that. My aunt always told me that different tiyospayes/bands had different ways of doing things and nobody in the old days said "this is how it HAS to be done!".

I was taught that, long ago, men didn't wear plumes and women didn't wear feathers. I was also taught that women didn't wear plumes upright at all. Nowadays, you see the whole works. This doesn't mean it's wrong, per se. It just means culture has evolved and (maybe to some degree) become a slave to fashion rather than "tradition".

I like the advice already given that you go to an elder in your family/band/clan or whatever. This is where you'll learn how it has been done in your family. And, if it makes sense to you based on our traditional Native values, then go with it. Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2002, 11:04 AM   #6
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I too have seen a lot of plumes at the pow-wows. Me, I have but two itty bitty plumes that I do not wear that often for the fear of them coming loose, during pow-wow time. I'm sure there are a lot of dancers out there that may resort to imitation plumes, which is fine w/me. I believe, until you are able to obtain the real thing, you make do w/what resources are available to you.:)
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:15 PM   #7
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I really liked the two cents from lngfthr. I always hear so many say look what that person is doing look what this person is doing. No one truly knows each band, tribe or families traditions. I know my Gramma asked me not to sweat and that was something truly from our family at that time. I know alot of woman sweat and that is their tradition.

When it comes to the plumes an elder truly can help with your inquiries.

Everyone on this site is always so helpful and responsive and I look forward to seeing each new question.

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Old 04-26-2002, 06:16 AM   #8
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Arrow Eagle Plumes

:Chatter I wasn't sure about the whole process and didn't want to have bad luck brought upon our little family. I have consulted an elder back home in Sask (in our band there is very little elders with traditional values still with us) my elder advised me that the feathers are to be earned and that I should not put any feathers in their hair until they are given to them.

:Chatter I thanked her for her much appreciated insight and wisdom. I had told her that when at pow wows I see eagle plumes like there is no tomorrow, and the eagle plumes are getting higher and higher above the head and more elaborate. She said not to be a follow like so many and to be a leader in my own beliefs and traditions.

:Angel: I understand that traditions change over the years but I want my girls to follow the ways of our elders and not to be a follower of "fashion".

Again thank you all for your much appreciated insight and input.
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:55 PM   #9
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eagle plumes

I believe each tribe has their own belief on obtaining eagle plumes or feathers. I was taught that you could obtain feathers in different ways like: marriage, celebration, a loss of a family member, a princess term is over, or you had to take on "responsibilities early". When I got my first feather, a vetern had to place it on my head, after many years of dancing!!!!
My niece is 10 years old and she wears eagle feathers because she was asked to dance for my mother when she became ill (jingle dress). She took on early responsiblities of the medicine dress and I have to say she holds a lot of respect for the dress, plumes, and fans. She was taught the reasons why she started to dance in this dress, and why she continues to dance as jingle. She has been dancing since she could walk but she didn't use eagle feathers until the situation I typed earlier occurred.
I'm truly proud of her. She accomplished a lot in her little life time!!!:Thumbs :clap:
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:56 AM   #10
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Plumes & Feather's

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Originally Posted by dwnsouthndn View Post
I believe each tribe has their own belief on obtaining eagle plumes or feathers. I was taught that you could obtain feathers in different ways like: marriage, celebration, a loss of a family member, a princess term is over, or you had to take on "responsibilities early". When I got my first feather, a vetern had to place it on my head, after many years of dancing!!!!
My niece is 10 years old and she wears eagle feathers because she was asked to dance for my mother when she became ill (jingle dress). She took on early responsiblities of the medicine dress and I have to say she holds a lot of respect for the dress, plumes, and fans. She was taught the reasons why she started to dance in this dress, and why she continues to dance as jingle. She has been dancing since she could walk but she didn't use eagle feathers until the situation I typed earlier occurred.
I'm truly proud of her. She accomplished a lot in her little life time!!!:Thumbs :clap:
ds: from someone that's dumb about tribal life and a hinez 57
I have some cheeokee in me somewhere. can you tell me what is the differance between a Plume for the woman or a
feather for the man. aren't they all from the eagle..would realy like to know and no disrespect to anyone. I've been reading the posts and it amazed me. I'm 73yrs. old and know nothing. tikiboo
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:12 PM   #11
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I always was told taht women DON"T wear a feather!! that they are for the men! i was also taught that ur plumes were earned... (naming, graduation, etc)

I'm not really a fan of seeing women out there with 20 plumes on there head just because it's the "fashionable" thing to do. but hey it's just me! :D
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:24 AM   #12
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I always was told taht women DON"T wear a feather!! that they are for the men! i was also taught that ur plumes were earned... (naming, graduation, etc)

I'm not really a fan of seeing women out there with 20 plumes on there head just because it's the "fashionable" thing to do. but hey it's just me! :D
Thank you bns I kinda thought that was it. but thank for the come back.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:45 AM   #13
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I am Mohawk by birth, and adopted Lakota. In my tiyospaye, feathers are given for a naming. They can also be traded for. In my own case, I found them. As a Mohawk, I wear a single feather, upright, at the back...being an elder woman. Single girls(teen and up) wear them in th front to signify they are single.
Feathers can be from the tail or wings, plumes are from the downy breast feathers, much as goose or duck down...they are fluffy and usually white, although you see all colors of dyed feathers at powwows, they are usually imitation feathers, commercially raised. I don't see any problem wearing them, it is the look you are going for with your regalia. I prefer a traditional look, and only use natural feathers.
Hope this helps!
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:44 PM   #14
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I am Mohawk by birth, and adopted Lakota. In my tiyospaye, feathers are given for a naming. They can also be traded for. In my own case, I found them. As a Mohawk, I wear a single feather, upright, at the back...being an elder woman. Single girls(teen and up) wear them in th front to signify they are single.
Feathers can be from the tail or wings, plumes are from the downy breast feathers, much as goose or duck down...they are fluffy and usually white, although you see all colors of dyed feathers at powwows, they are usually imitation feathers, commercially raised. I don't see any problem wearing them, it is the look you are going for with your regalia. I prefer a traditional look, and only use natural feathers.
Hope this helps!
I musta been taught wrong. I thought plumes came from right underneath the tail.

Anybody ever picked up the tail and checked?
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:25 PM   #15
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I musta been taught wrong. I thought plumes came from right underneath the tail.

Anybody ever picked up the tail and checked?
My hubby tease's me and says hey butt fedders! The ones I have are nice and long they came from under the tail.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:16 AM   #16
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Oh hey!!!!!I'm going crazy with feather's, does each tribe have a different teaching on feathers,???? can anyone tell me how to preserve a feather, my granddaughter picks up blue bird feathers. some pigion feathers and whatever feathers.... need to know how to take care of them Please
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:30 AM   #17
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Oopsie! My apologies, I stand corrected!

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Old 10-18-2007, 07:34 AM   #18
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I was taught that feathers you find are left as gifts. My brother gently washes them. I just wipe them and I keep them in a box if I am not using them for something else. I have some owl feathers and blue jay feathers on my cannupa stem...the eagle feathers I keep separately, wrapped in red felt. But that is that way I was taught...other tribes may do things differently. Hope this helps!
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:58 AM   #19
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Oh hey!!!!!I'm going crazy with feather's, does each tribe have a different teaching on feathers,???? can anyone tell me how to preserve a feather, my granddaughter picks up blue bird feathers. some pigion feathers and whatever feathers.... need to know how to take care of them Please
I agree with AWB , wash them. Ive used dish soap, and dont freak when the go down to nothin ,its normal lol just let dry or use a hair dry'r. Ive used a hair dry'r on muh plumes and they get real poofy. Bugs love feathers they eat them, so if you dont have a cedar box, you can keep them in some sort of a box but put in there some cedar chips ,ive even used them cedar block's you can hang in your closit to keep the bugs from eating your clothes,. Hope this helps
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:03 AM   #20
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Using cedar chips is a great idea! Pilamaye! Here in Florida, it is always hot and humid...great environment for bugs and other nasties...
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