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Eagle Symbolism: Native American Eagle Symbolism

Native American Indians of all tribes greatly revered the bald eagle as a messenger of the gods and goddesses. They believed that their prayers were conveyed to the gods by eagles. Native Americans admired the strength and courage of the bald eagle. Bald eagle feathers were awarded as symbols of great deeds or heroism for warriors. Other parts of the eagle were used as well. The wing bones were used as tubes to draw out disease and talons served as amulets for protection. Bald eagle feathers were a special part of many Native American cermonies.

Hunting bald eagles with primitive weapons such as bows and arrows was difficult. It was a special feat to catch a bald eagle with the bare hands. When a young warrior was able to do this, he not only acquired the valuable feathers, but he also believed that he would acquire the power contained in the spirit of the bird.

Today, Native Americans have to go to a special federal repository in order to obtain eagle parts for their ceremonies or special dress because it is against the law for anyone to possess a bald eagle and/or its body parts.

For more information on how Native American Indians perceived the bald eagle, visit the Powersource Gallery.