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Feather used for Native American church service / Unidentified


Large eagle feather dyed pink with upper third of barbs brown. Calamus also pink.

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.

Tags: red, feather, fan
People: Southern Plains, Oklahoma
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
Unidentified (Author)
Native American
20th century
feather (eagle)
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Patrick Oliver
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
Not On View

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