Native American feather earrings are made from bird feathers that fall from the body and are not plucked. They hold a significant meaning to many Native American tribes. Often these feathers represent the power exerted by the thunder gods, the air and the wind. Eagle feathers were used ceremonially by the Sioux. The Hopi used turkey feathers to symbolize the wilderness and the four winds. The Iroquois believed eagles had a special relationship with God.
With the passing of time, feathers have gone from their traditional placement in Native American dress to a smaller role in the jewelry made by artisans. Native American feather earrings today use both natural feathers and sterling silver and semi-precious stone replicas of feathers.
Natural Native American Feather Earrings
Natural Native American feather earrings using Peacock feathers can be fashioned to be quite ornate. The feathers are a brownish maroon wrapping around the striking colors of shimmering opalescent sea foam surrounding a majestic royal blue center. Native feather earrings like these can be decorated with beads of various sizes and shapes attached at the ends of the feather to create a lovely piece of jewelry. Peacock feathers are considered clairvoyants and their feathers hold healing powers.
Natural feathers are wonderful to behold, but to keep them beautiful as the years role by, you’ll need to care for them properly. Never place natural feathers in direct sunlight; always store them in dry cool areas. Never wet the feathers, but if they accidentally get wet, dry them gently with a hair dryer. Wipe Native American feather earrings clean with a mild solution of soap and water. Always dry them thoroughly. Occasionally condition them lightly with Jojoba oil. This should give you decades of wear and enjoyment of your Native American feather earrings.
Replicas of Native American Feather Earrings
Often artisans use more durable materials to represent Native American feather earrings. They fashion sterling silver to imitate the look of feathers and use semi-precious stones to mimic the varying colors found in nature. Native American feather earrings often use these common stones: coral, turquoise, lapis lazuli, black onyx, malachite, magnesite, orange carnelian and green peridot. The Zuni Indians of New Mexico use coral with sterling silver for their feather earrings. The Navajo create an earring using the dream catcher theme with sterling silver feathers and turquoise. Still other artists combine natural feathers with sterling silver feathers to create Native American feather earrings.
Native American Feather Earrings: The Varieties
- Native American feather earrings can be made of glass beads mixed with faux feathers made of sterling silver.
- Artists combine pheasant feathers with suede, hemp-string, and wood beads to make dream catcher earrings.
- Native American Feather Earrings are created with colorful seed beads looping around a faux sterling silver feather.
- Earrings are constructed of brass findings with one feather only and colorful beads.
- The Navajo make solid sterling silver earrings replicating the majesty of the feather.
- Native American Feather Earrings are made with long trailing natural feathers.
- Combined feathers of various birds are also used to create feather earrings.
Whatever the final mix of beads, metals, semi-precious, precious stones and feathers, the end result is sure to be eye-catching and a worthy accent to your wardrobe and overall appearance. Native feather earrings carry with them the meanings ascribed to them by their original ancestral creators, but they are worn by the people of today from many cultures. Wear the earrings with the pride they were meant to be worn with, no matter what meaning or lack of meaning you have given these valuable pieces of art.