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Feather used for Native American church service / Unidentified


Small bundle of small golden eagle feathers. Largest feather is dark brown with white spot on anterior and posterior vanes roughly one third distance from tip. White on anterior vane extends to tips of barbs. Two smaller yellow feathers tied to larger feather with sinew.

Curatorial Remarks

Individual feathers would have been used as fans themselves. They would have been used as fans to fan off an individual re entering the church house/service. Fanning an individual off purifies the individual reentering the space. You put cedar on the fire to create smoke, then use the smoke as a purifying agent. All feathers act in the same way. Peyote meetings are ritually pure environments and you have to maintain that pure environment, Feathers and fans are significant in maintaining this ritually pure and symbolic environment. You have to get rid of any external influences coming into that environment. You can also have a ritual activity outside a peyote meeting and fan yourself off. Single feather fans used. A multi component object for ritual use.

People: Southern Plains, Central Plains
Places: Southern Plains, Oklahoma
Purpose: peyote meeting, personal activity

From interviews with Dr. Garrick Bailey, 2018-2020 University of Tulsa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

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Feather used for Native American church service
Native American; Osage
20th century
feather, hide
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Patrick Oliver
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
Not On View

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