Why Do Indians Wear Feathers?
Today, many American Indians wear feather headdresses for decoration on special occasions. The feather symbolizes trust, honor, strength, wisdom, power, freedom and many more things.
But in the early days they were like a general’s stars or a war decoration. The tribe honored warriors for bravery. To be given one of these is to be handpicked out of the rest of the men in the tribe – it’s like getting a gift from a high official.
For a courageous deed a warrior was given the right to wear one or more feathers in his hair. The position of the feather meant something, too. A feather pointing down, for instance, meant a “brave deed.”
A feather pointing straight up meant “very brave deed”—but still brave. Only the bravest chiefs had the right to wear bonnets of eagle feathers. If any Indian is given Golden or Bald Eagle feathers it is one of the most rewarding items they can ever be handed.
The Indians believe that eagles have a special connection with the heavens since they fly so close and if they are given this feather, it is a symbol from above. They believe that the eagle is the leader of all birds, because it flies as high as it does and sees well than all the birds.