Thursday, 2 August 2012

Native American symbols - Clowns, Arrows and Feathers

Many kinds of clowns are used. Shown is the popular "Mud Head". They usually symbolize well being, good times & harvest.

So many different depiction’s of arrows are used. They usually symbolize direction, force, movement, power and direction of travel, also the pathway of the breath, the life force of the animal spirit, called the "heart line"

Feathers. Symbols of prayers, sources of ideas or marks of honor.  Representing the Creative Force, and are taken from birds with the attribute for which they might be used: goose flight feathers to fledge an arrow. Geese are known for their long flights; Eagle feathers for honor & connect the user with the Creator. To decorate a kachina mask Turkey feathers are commonly used. Feathers may appear plain, barred, banded, or decorated.

Prayer Sticks (Pahos). Are delicately notched then painted on cottonwood or cedar sticks using specific feathers to catch the wind. Planted in the ground at fresh water springs and religious sites to carry personal prayers to the Creator or to the Kachina. Found in many Navajo and Pueblo designs.

Feather Arrangements (Circular). Found on pottery, on masks, prayer fans, costumes for dance and on Plains "war bonnets". Also used on decorated buffalo hides telling a story in paint remembering war honors, important historic events and other periods of time. Placed in a circular arrangement, they are related to the sun, and thereforth, the Creator.


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