Old Praying Feather – Can you help?

Hi Paula, I have in my possession a very old praying feather but cannot determine the origin or tribe in which it came, can I send you some pics about it and maybe you can help me with this. I was thinking maybe Hopi or Navajo but need to be sure.
This is very important to us because we want to bring it back to the tribe and it’s people where it belongs. We found it doing a trash out of a foreclosed property and it should be right to give it back.
Thanks. Tom
129 130 137 138 139 140Hi Tom,
I’ve seen fans like this made by Apache and Navajo.
Here is a similar style of Apache fan
CF53-hawk-1
Here is one made by a Navajo
SF806-turkey-pink-nash
It is possible it could also be a Plains tribe.
Perhaps one of the readers of this blog recognizes your fan.
Paula

Recommendation for Protection against Evil and Bad Luck

Hello,

My friend is interested in a native indian amulet or “charm” for protection against evil and bad luck.  Would these medicine bags be appropriate?  I specificially like the Crazy Horse bag with the gemstones, however, I am not sure about their spiritual powers or purpose.  Would you please be able to direct me to the proper item that I could buy for my friend.

Thank you. IJ

Hi IJ,

Every person has their own belief system when it comes to good spirits and good luck so it is not so important what is used, but what one believes. Picking up a special stone can do more to change one’s luck than purchasing a lottery ticket !!

With that said, you know your friend and his or her habits and propensity to ceremony and ritual. Here are some ideas.

The Crazy Horse bag is very nice.

Crazy Horse Bag by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk

I’d highly recommend any of the bags made by Apache artist, Cynthia Whitehawk as she makes each of her items in ceremony and with great attention to detail. They are filled with a wonderful spirit already !  She acknowledges that each of us tends to be drawn to certain animals, stones or other healing spirits, so she makes many bags and shares her thoughts on the protective and healing powers of each totem.  That is indicated at the bottom of each page describing the bag.

Eagle Spirit Bag by Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk

Carved Zuni fetishes can also be very powerful talismans – many are suitable to carry in a pocket or purse making them handy to hold or rub.

Rainbow Calsilica Medicine Bear by Zuni artist Kenny Chavez

Some of these fetishes are available as pendants so they can be worn on a chain or leather choker.

Sacred White Buffalo Pendant by Zuni artist Cheryl Beyuka

A cross might be the perfect answer.

Sterling Silver and Turquoise Cross by Navajo artist Derrick Gordon

For those who are looking for good luck, such as would come from a finding a four leaf clover, there are Authentic Lucky Horseshoes.

Authentic Lucky Horseshoe

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to find the perfect item for your friend.

Do you know what kind of turquoise is on my Carlos White Eagle Watch Cuff?

Hi Paula!

I have a Watch Cuff made by Carlos White Eagle and I would like to know if you could identify the type of turquoise stones that are on it. When I purchased the cuff the top feather that holds the watch in was broken. I was able to find Carlos and have him fix it for me. He remembered the piece from the late 60’s and that he had custom made it for a doctor. The inscription reads “For Dr. H.M. Wilke”. The thing is all the time I spent with him, I forgot to ask him where the stones came from. It has a bear tooth and a claw and he verified that.
Thanks for your help!!
Jess

Jess !

What a treasure. I’d be interested to hear the story of how you got the watch, how you were able to hook up with Apache artist Carlos White Eagle, and all that good stuff !!

I also like your man-at-work photo with purchase order and keyboard back ground – do you wear this watch to work ??!!

What a fabulous watch !

What mine could these turquoise stones have come from? Well, as you know, computer monitor settings vary and what might look bright blue here might look deep bluish-green there. Dark brown matrix can look black from one screen to another.

But knowing the type of stones that have appeared in Carlos White Eagle’s pieces from that era and taking an educated guess, I am thinking it could be one of the mines below. I’m going to paste some photos of items we have or have had in our store with the names of the mines the turquoise came from below each photo. Why don’t you tell me which picture looks the most like your stones and then I’ll give you my best guess. Feel free to post your reply right here as a reply to this blog and once you and I both dive in, we can see what others might think.

It is easier in person. Photos are difficult. And stones from one portion of a mine can look quite different from another section, but anyway…….here we go.

Bisbee

Blue Diamond

Blue Gem

Morenci

Number 8 or # 8

Turquoise Mountain

Mystery Mine - You fill in the blank _____________

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More on Native American Prayer Feathers and Fans

Red Hawk Prayer Fan by Apache artist, Cynthia Whitehawk

Hi Paula,

I’m looking forward to receiving the prayer feather. If I’m not bothering you to ask, is there anything else you could tell me about this particular feather?

Many thanks,

Dave from Australia

Hi Dave

No bother at all. My pleasure. I posted a little bit about Prayer Feathers in a previous post.

The only other thing I can say about the feather fan you are receiving is that Alan Nash calls his smudge fans a Talking Prayer Feather which is from the Navajo.

Navajo Talking Prayer Feather

Many other artists of other tribes refer to them as Prayer Feathers.

Since using eagle feathers is illegal, artists use turkey feathers, either natural or hand painted to look like eagle feathers.

Lakota Prayer Feather

According to Navajo legends and teachings:

The Eagle was created to help the Dine’ with healing and guidance. Eagle plumes and feathers represent faith, hope, courage and strength. Individuals often receive eagle plumes as they make their journey in life. The plume acts as a shield as one follows the Corn Pollen way of life.

Lakota Prayer Feather


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Native American Healing, Ceremonial and Dance Rattles

NATIVE AMERICAN CEREMONIAL AND DANCE RATTLES

©  2010 Cherry Hill

Native American rattles have been and are used for many purposes including healing and other medicine uses, dancing for ceremony and celebration, commemorating birth and more. To First Nations people, shakers or rattles represent rain (for prayers of abundance and prosperity) and tears, especially those of emotional release. Tears of joy signifying when the mind, body, soul and spirit connect. Ceremonially, rattles are used in cleansing and purifying, spiritual guidance work, celebration and in thanks and respect to Ancestral Spirits.

Dragonfly Spirit Gourd Rattle by Cynthia Whitehawk, Apache

 

Rattles can be made of many materials including deer and elk hooves, rawhide, turtle shells, gourds, wood, buffalo parts (horn, hump bone, scrotum) bones, horns and antlers of all kinds, leather (cowhide, buckskin, elkskin).

Wolf Spirit Gourd Rattle by Apache Cynthia Whitehawk

 

The rattling items are either inside or outside. Rattles such as gourds might have small items inside such as beans, corn, small stones, or even the seeds native to the gourd itself.

Raven Spirit Gourd Rattle by Apache Cynthia Whitehawk

Rattles with external sound makers are adorned with pieces of metal, tinkle cones, bells, beads and more.

Lakota Horse Spirit Dance Rattle by Alan Monroe, Oglala Lakota

 

Generally, medicine rattles are made entirely of natural materials and the sound is more muted. Dance rattles are made of almost any materials, natural and otherwise. In fact, unusual items such as pieces of scrap metal, coins and other resonating materials are used to create a loud, crisp sound. Dance rattles are often made like a coup stick, using bone or wood with a handle on the end.

Horse Spirit Dance Rattle by Alan Monroe, Oglala Lakota

 

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Native American Artifact – Shaman Drum

A drum is central to many Native American ceremonies. It is the heartbeat of the community and the people gathered there.

Apache Ceremonial Gourd Drum

Apache Ceremonial Gourd Drum

“From the Shamans of Mongolia, to the Minianka healers of West Africa, and indigenous cultures across the Americas, therapeutic rhythm techniques have been used for thousands of years to create and maintain physical, mental and spiritual health.” Michael Drake author of Therapeutic Effects of Drumming

THE CEREMONIAL DRUM – Indigenous cultures of the Americas and Canada know and use the drum as the center of all songs, as the great communicator and healer. It is the catalyst for the Spirit of the songs to rise up to the Creator so that the prayers in those songs reach where they were meant to go. At all times, the sound of the drum brings completeness, awe, excitement, solemnity, deep inner relaxation, strength, courage, and the fulfillment to the songs. Every thing, every human action, and every energy revolves in rhythm. It is Mother Earths heartbeat giving her approval to those living upon her. It draws the Eagle to it, who carries the message to Creator.

– Cynthia Whitehawk, Apache Healer