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  • Fans

    Does any one have any info on how o make fans (flat or loose)???
    and preferences on the feathers used to make them, i'm planing on using turkey tails.

  • #2
    There's a trader that I see in the midwest that makes really nice flat fans out of turkey tails.

    I'm guessing that you are wanting the fans for N. Traditional Dancing since you put it in this forum. My preference for fans with this style is 1. Wing Fans, 2. Flat Fans, 3. Loose Fans.

    In my humble opinion, I think loose fans are more appropriate for gourd dancing. I believe the origin of these fans are from church meetings.

    There are directions floating around for making flat fans that have appeared in Moccasin Tracks and probably in Whispering Wind. I'm not positive if they have one on flat fans, but Noc Bay Trading Company in Escanaba, MI will give free instructions on how to make different items with an order. Call and ask them if flat fans are one of the items they have instructions for.

    The best place to get info is to go to a dance and ask someone who has a really nice fan some questions about it. If you go with a wing fan all you have to do is put some kind of leather around the bottom for a handle. I dance with a wing fan.

    Any one else?



    • #3

      I recently finished a turkey wing fan. I'm originally from south Louisiana where there is an abundance of cypress trees. For those that aren't familiar with cypress knees, well, they are part of the roots of the trees that stick out of the ground in swampy water. I'm sure you've seen pictures. Anyway, I took the cypress knee, shaved off the bark and sanded it down really smooth, hollowed it out with a hobby knife, and stuck the wing inside with glue.

      I wrapped the edge of the handle with rabbit fur and glued that in place to cover the hole I had carved and the end of the wing. Then, I simply applied some loom beadwork on part of that in traditional Chitimacha colors and it turned out great!

      I know that's a brief description, but it may relay some ideas. Let me know if you need any help.



      • #4

        I agree with CEM. Wing fans are the most common type used with traditional. That's what I use.

        My brother makes flat fans out of cedar board, but I guess any type of hard wood would work. He cuts the shape similar to a paint brush handle and sands it down so the edges are nice and smooth. He drills holes in the top to set the tail feathers in. The number of holes depends on the number of feathers you're going to use. He glues them into the holes and adds fluffs to hide where the tail feathers are set in the handle. Next he wraps the handle with leather and adds fringe. He usually paints designs on to the leather last or you can add beadwork.

        I've also seen people use a big flat comb, called a pick I think, that has about 8 tynes. They slide the tail feather over the tyne and glue in place. Cover with leather, decorate and you're done. My neice even has a flat fan that someone used a wooden spoon for the handle.:dontknow:


        • #5
          i must say that i use big wooden spoons when i make tail fans...seems to be the easiest way that i have found.... but then this is my opinion

          Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, and Dance like no one is watching.


          • #6
            About Fans............

            I have always understood that the "loose Peyote" fan is Gourd. MEN ONLY... Made from Pheasant feathers. I carry a Hwk wing, but my wife and daughters carry Hwk tail flat fans. But the best advice one can give would be to ask a Dancer ... don't forget your tobacco......
            Only my two cents worth.......


            • #7
              wing fan directions

              this may help out if you'd like to make a wing fan...
              they seem to like the spoon method too, truewarrior. ;)

              Wing fan construction


              • #8
                Flat fan?


                1. lay the feathers out
                2. mix the bondo
                3. plop the bondo
                4. shape the bondo
                5. trim excess bondo
                6. let bondo harden (carefull, gets hot)
                7. sand handle to shape
                8. wrap with leather and elmers glue
                9. dance
                The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.


                • #9

                  Dancer Rebel,

                  Have you figured things out yet? Be patient and take your time. I'd come up with an idea away from spoons and bondo. Keep it as traditional as possible.

                  Just a thought,


                  • #10
                    hey, if you are going to be doing any sanding make sure your feathers are covered with something. . .like a plastic bag. you don't want to get all that crap in your feathers.


                    • #11

                      Thanks for your help everyone, i thing i'm going to have someone make a handle for me, but i have some good ideas for fans now?



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                      • DancerRebel
                        by DancerRebel
                        Does any one have any info on how o make fans (flat or loose)???
                        and preferences on the feathers used to make them, i'm planing on using turkey tails.
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