war bonnet

♁ Crow Indian man

♁ Eagle tail feather. Arapaho war bonnet. Chief Yellow Calf

♁ Sitting Bull 1882

Feathered War Bonnets were one of the magical charms, medicine, worn by Plains Indians in battle. The eagle was considered by the Indian as the greatest and most powerful of all birds and thus, the finest bonnets were made out of its feathers.
Long ago the bonnet was only worn on special occasions and it was highly symbolic. Its beauty was of secondary importance; the bonnet's real value was in its power to protect the wearer.
The bonnet had to be earned through brave deeds in battle because the feathers signified the deeds themselves. Some warriors might obtain only two or three honor feathers in their whole lifetime, so difficult were they to earn. The bonnet was also a mark of highest respect because it could never be worn without the consent of the leaders of the tribe. Feathers were notched and decorated to designate an event and told individual stories such as killing, capturing an enemy's weapon and shield, and whether the deed had been done on horseback or foot.
After about ten honors had been won, the warrior went out to secure the eagle feathers with which to make his bonnet. In some tribes these had to be purchased from an individual given special permission to hunt the bird; a tail of twelve perfect feathers could bring the seller as much as a good horse. Some tribes permitted a warrior to hunt his own eagles. This was a dangerous and time-consuming mission and meant that he had to leave the tribe and travel to the high country where the bird could be found. When the destination had been reached, ceremonies were conducted to appeal to the spirits of the birds to be killed. - wikipedia

♁ first photo, souce: ferns and moss

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