Feather HeadbandsThe Indian headband is also well-known from movies and other popular images of Native Americans. However, this style of headband was typically only used by a few tribes of the northeast Woodlands. Usually the headband consisted of a finger-woven or beaded deerskin strip with tribal designs on it. This band was then tied around the brow with a feather or two tucked through the back. Not only eagle feathers but turkey, hawk, egret, and crane feathers were also used for Woodland Indian headbands.
Unlike many of the Native American headdresses on this page, both men and women wore headbands, which were not associated with war. The number and type of feather did not usually have special symbolic meaning, though in a few tribes that bordered the Plains eagle feathers were reserved for warriors. For the most part, Woodland Indian head bands were worn for their beauty, and were often decorated with intricate patterns, wampum, beads, and quillwork.
Comment: For examples of Indians wrongly wearing headbands, see Yakari the Noble Savage
and Primitive Indian in Gas-Tax Cartoon
Below: Abenaki women with headbands.
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