I have a few questions about dream catchers. My sister brought a couple back recently and quarantine insisted on irradiating them. That was fine until they folded all the feathers to pack them in the post! So, am I correct in assuming that you can just replace the feathers with new ones? I dont recall ever reading about any ritual observances during a dream catchers making (its a navajo one and I dont even know if dream catchers are traditional in that culture)? I dont know what kind of feathers they are – am I right that they cannot be eagle or hawk due to your laws, or are indigenes allowed to use them in their art? Is the type of feather used significant? Thanks Paula and have a nice day
Merideth from Australia
Eagle, hawk and many other types of feathers are illegal to own. Some Native Americans are allowed to use them in religious ceremony but can’t sell them alone or as part of a piece of artwork because non-registered Native Americans can’t posses them.
Here is an article about a recent court ruling.
To obtain eagle feathers for religious ceremonies, Native Americans can’t collect their own feathers. They must get them through a Federal Repository. We have one here in Denver which you can read about. It is very interesting.
So most NA artists use pea hen, turkey etc. and either use them as is or paint them to be faux eagle, faux hawk, owl etc.