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  • owl feathers

    i had always heard it was not good to wear owl feathers on outfits. but what do you guys think about it? what were you always taught?
    C-trad

  • #2
    I would steer clear of it.

    Comment


    • #3
      YAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

      :Scared

      (well, if ya like dancing alone to the music in your head, that's a good way to clear a circle)

      A lot of people associated owls with death.
      Instead of telling God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is!

      Comment


      • #4
        I've always been told to steer clear of the owl as well. However, I have an interesting interjection to make. When discussing the issue with an elder, he looks at me ask, "How can anything created by the Creator himself be bad?"

        I'll stop here before I get theologically long-winded! ;) :Chatter

        LSS

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        • #5
          yeah, i too have always been taught that they're harbingers of death.

          hey, if you could clear the cirlcle that fast, that'd be a sure way to win first each time. get rid of the competition! ok ok, j/k.
          C-trad

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          • #6
            I just had a rather long discussion with some people just this past weekend about this very subject.

            For a lot of Native America most people do stay clear of the owl and owl parts. There are many reasons but the most common demominator is that the owl is seen as an omen. Now the word "omen" does not necessarily mean evil - but it does mean something coming and to a great deal of people that something coming is not good. Some of Native America see the owl as warning to be careful and to avoid somthing that could come that would have been bad - much like a detour sign in the road.

            Now here is the strange part: the owl is not bad in all of Native America. You can find many other forms of symbolism of the owl among diferent nations, tribes, and even societies that is not seen as a bad omen.

            I mentioned earlier in a post that in 2001 I attended some 42 events in 7 states. I saw owl parts (feathers, talons, heads, etc.) used across the country by all kinds of dancers. I even saw this recently at the Ann Arbor Powwow. I have seen well respected dancers and even vets use owl parts in my many years of dancing and traveling around the country.

            Some people claim that the owl is their spirit guide or a part of their personal medicine. They may very well be true - for who is to say that such a thing is not true.

            I did some serious looking into this subject a few years ago - in research form and conversation form. After speaking with elders (some in their 80s and some in their 90s) across the country, I was a bit surprised to find out how many societies used owl parts. In fact in some societies some owl parts were the badge of being a member. In others owl parts were required on some part of the warrior after becoming a member of that particular society. It is also known that some "holy men" were distinquished by the wearing of owl parts.

            Of course you can also find some of this in books but as you know be careful of what you find in some books.

            If you are one wondering about using owl parts I would suggest doing some serious research and serious discussion with elders, not to mention serious time with The Creator!
            Last edited by Tom Iron Eagle; 04-05-2002, 04:42 PM.

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            • #7
              TIE,

              I couldn't have put it all together better myself. Some of the exact same things/stories you made mention of are some of the evidence I came across not too long ago. Although my tribe, which are linguisticly sioux speaking people, Saponi, totally rejects the owl, I still felt it appropriate to do just what this man did.

              LSS

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              • #8
                that's pretty interesting. i didn't know that people used that much of the bodies. or even the part about owls being a membership badge. good info!
                C-trad

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                • #9
                  It depends guys. Some of the old style round or cluster bustles among the Sioux and Cheyenne regularly included owl feathers. These feathers are certainly an oddity at Southern dances, mainly because of the beliefs and legends common among Southern Plains tribes. But I have seen owl feathers included in many old style bustles in the north -- museum pieces as well as more contemporary adaptations of the old style crow belt.

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                  • #10
                    owl feathers

                    Well my people don't use owl feathers because it is a associated with death. You would have to talk to a elder from your tribe about it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No owls here!
                      TARHEEL BORN, TARHEEL BRED, WHEN I DIE I'LL BE TARHEEL DEAD!

                      MizzQaqimat's Space

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm not a tradish, but saw this topic and just had to put my tid bit in.

                        MY PEOPLE DO NOT USE THE OWLS PARTS FOR ANY PART OF OUR CLOTHING. MY UNCLES/AUNTS HAVE ALWAYS TOLD ME THAT THE OWLS WERE TO BE TABOO. I DO KNOW THAT SOME OF OUR HOLY PEOPLE DO HANDLE THESE OWLS PARTS IN SOME OF THEIR MEDICINE. I WAS TAUGHT THAT THE OWL WAS A MESSENGER OF THE DEAD/UNDERWORLD.

                        YES, IN MY EXPERIENCE AN OWL DANCER(USUALLY AN OUTSIDER) WILL HAVE A LARGE PART OF THE ARENA FOR THEMSELF, IF NOT THE HOLE AREA.

                        SOME PEOPLES DO ACCEPT THE OWLS PARTS AS OK. I'D MAKE SURE THIS IS ALRIGHT WHERE I WERE TO DANCE. GET A FEEL OF THE HOST SOCIETY BEFORE WEARING THE OWLS.
                        WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS DO. DON'T BE OFFENSIVE.
                        BOB

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                        • #13
                          when in rome...

                          ahh, yes, when in rome, do as the romans do.

                          but when in slobobia... do as the slobs do!
                          C-trad

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                          • #14
                            by the way, i'm not saying to actually look like slob or do anything crummy. my friend said the thing to me the other day and i thought it was the funniest thing!
                            C-trad

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                            • #15
                              The hoot over Owl Feathers

                              She:kon/Skennen To All;

                              Although I have had bad experiences with friends giving me owl feathers thinking they were hawk, and i am new to this forum, as a tradish dancer I'd use the rule of thumb, "When in Rome...."

                              Being Hodenosaunee-Kanienkehake (Mohawk-Iroquois), owl feathers are seen as powerful and sacred omens. Depending who you talk to, they can be associated with everything from death and sorcery, to stealth and seeing into the future. From what I know about this, in our traditions, the only ones who had the privilege to own/use owl feathers were our medicine people.

                              For owl feathers can be used in a positive way, provided you know what you are doing under the proper supervision. Owl feathers are used to "see" and ward of evil spirits of the night who lurk in the dark shadows, since the feathers are designed for stealth flight. Or at least that is what I have been told by my elders and mentors.

                              But as a rule, I would refrain using owl feathers on the dance regalia out of respect for not only your powwow hosts, but also out of respect for one's medicine people.

                              Onen ki'wahi;

                              Resis_tanz68

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