"The Feather" Large Photo
American Indian Collection...
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The tail feather of the Golden Eagle - For the Warrior, it was his badge of courage, his award for valor, his honor, and his pride.
Never mere decoration, the eagle feather was testimony of deeds accomplished in battle with an enemy or in execution of the Warrior’s first duty, protection of the tribe.
An honor to be earned, it could be worn only after approval by tribal council and eyewitness account of the deed. A Warrior wearing many eagle feathers was indeed a man to be respected.
The Golden Eagle was thought to be very holy, the favored emissary of God. It was said that a Warrior would rather lose his horse, his tipi, even his wife than suffer the dishonor of losing his eagle feathers to an enemy.
The Golden Eagle, the solar or sun bird, was thought to fly higher than all other creatures. He saw everything. His courage and strength were unequaled.
His feathers, like rays of sun, brought God’s presence in a bond that made the man as holy as the bird, linking him securely with the Great Spirit.

--William M. Finklea
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