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Dakota Indian FeatherworkFeatherwork - Feathers and skins of many birds were used by Indians for robes and clothing, as well as for many kinds of decoration. 

The most elaborate feather robes were made in the Far West and the Southeast.  In the East the Indians also cut up the skins into strips and wove them into robes.  Fans were made from the wings of the larger birds, while quills of smaller birds were split and dyed and used in decoration similar to porcupine quill work.

In California the Indians used the scalps of certain small birds as a sort of money.  The calumet, shield, prayer stick, and wand all were decorated with the down and feathers of birds.

The feathers of the golden eagle were the most important to the Indian, especially for his war bonnet and his exploit feathers.  Other birds whose feathers were used included the wild turkey, hawk, woodpecker, meadow lark, quail, chaparral cock, duck, bluejay, and blackbird.

Related Information within this Site
[ Calumet ][ Chaparral Cock ][ Crow ][ Eagle ]
[ Headdress ][ Prayer Sticks ][ Shield ]