Yeah, I know! Who the heck do I think I am and what business is it of mine? Since I am one of those people that have took part in and still will purchase the Feather or even a Bustle. I mean the Feather is beautiful and the Bustles that people make are just works of art. I wrote a piece called "Too Many Eagle Feathers Floating Around" sometime ago. I think it about it some and really think we should start to conduct ourselves with some restraint when it comes to handling the Sacred.
I mean really? We surely don't want the outside world (again) pointing at us (like they have stopped) and saying "Uurrgh, those Redskins are killing all the Wildlife". It is the similar chant when we go Moose hunting, fishing, and other Indians type stuff. We are accused of being wasteful, over killing selfish hunters, fishers, and gatherers. Oh yeah, a new one, we are also hoarders (we used to be Indian Givers) because we don't want to share the Water with Big Greedy Corporations. You know like Alberta Tars Sands, Nestle Water plants and other water destroying engines. I hope that people catch on to what the Natives have been Teaching: Water is Life.
Oh yeah, before I got all David Suzuki environmental on you, I wanted to discuss (or at least put in my opinion) the Eagle Feather thing. No doubt that having an Eagle Feather is a big deal. A huge deal, a mega deal in fact. It is like getting the Order of Canada (like the medal Conrad Black got and I think Allan Eagleson got one as well) or some other big award that someone or some big wig might bestow onto you. I do think with the Eagle Feather and how it is now relatively easy to get and it might be less of a super mega deal these days. Not saying it is not Sacred anymore. But take a look at what happened to Tobacco. Its the context thing that I have used in the past. The historical significance of access to Eagle Feathers has somehow become distorted. I remember when the whole DDT thing made the Eagle a dead bird. Remember that? Eagles where in short supply. I wonder did the Native folk also do their best to save the Eagle during that time? Anyway, the Eagle has made a recovery but still is in need of protection. Today the harvesting of an Eagle is unknown to me as to how one gets the privilege? But that's for Traditional people to know and for Teachers to know.
The point I am making is this, we need to stop using Feathers in the way we are currently using them. I mean not the way they are used Healing but how they are used for competitions and as commodities, purchasing power. I know I don't have the right to say that. But I am. I think that some of the Elders Teachers and Traditional leaders should say "Hey Neechies, maybe we should slow down on those two and three layered bustels, what you think?" Or maybe even say something like this "Hey! Those Eagles are our brothers, they take the messages of our prayers to the Creator, so why the heck are we killing so many of them?". Or maybe they could say something like this, "Hey Endenawaamaganuk (relatives), what you say we start using imitation feathers in some of our dance bustels?" "It won't diminish your talent or how cool you look, some of those pretend Eagle Feathers look pretty damn good".
|Pretend Eagle Feather Looks Pretty Good.|
I don't think this topic will go anywhere. It may get some Traditional folk angry at me, I can understand that for sure. The Traditions of our people are vital to our existence. I know that. At the same time we have to look at everything with the Spirit and Intent of the Teaching. No saying get rid of the Feathers floating around out there, but consider for the new era of Feather use.
If all of the Creators beings are Sacred why not use goose feathers, turkey feathers for bustles?
Listen my friends, it is an idea. Only you have choice.
Ask these questions: How did that Eagle Feather come into your possession? Do you know how where it was harvested?