Published on July 1, 2011 by Amy
Native Americans have long used eagle feathers in their crafts to symbolize religious and cultural beliefs. Today, the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service provides eagle feathers to Native Americans; others who want to replicate their art must use different types of feathers. Creating a craft related to Native American use of feathers is an ideal way to teach children about Native American cultures.
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Dream Catchers are ring-shaped objects decorated with feathers. Naive Americans use them to sooth the fears of children afraid of having bad dreams. Dream Catchers have become part of a pan-Indian movement that incorporates a variety of traditions from different Native American tribes. The type of style and size of Dream Catcher you want to make determines the materials you need. For example, for a child’s Dream Catcher project, popsicle sticks and yarn or string can be used.
Like most people, Native Americans made and used bags of various types, from a bag to carry belongings to a medicine bag for use in spiritual ceremonies. Attaching feathers to a Native American themed bag can add that final touch of authenticity.
Creating a Native American necklace is a craft project that children will enjoy as they can wear the necklace or give it as a gift to a friend or parent. You can purchase either string or leather strips from a craft store along with multicolored beads.
Create a headdress using paper feathers that you or your child has drawn onto construction paper. You can also purchase bags of feathers at some craft stores and through Native American stores, many of which offer sales through their website. Measure the circumference of the wearer’s head in order to know what size your headdress should be. Cut out a long strip of paper that can be glued or stapled at the ends to create a band.