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.