"There's a huge new demand for people wanting more costumes, and that's driving the demand for not just golden-eagle feathers, but now bald-eagle feathers," says David Hancock, a researcher in North Vancouver who has written several books about the winged predators.
Powwows in North America mostly attract aboriginal spectators and participants. But powwows are also popular across Europe, where people celebrate North American aboriginal culture by dressing in traditional regalia. The subculture--inspired by the Old West novels of 1890s German author Karl May--has spread from Germany to other countries including Russia, Denmark, Britain and Poland.
But others say the reputations of most dancers--who view the eagle as sacred--are being tarnished by a small group of poachers eager to profit from the phenomenon.
I wonder how much of the problem is caused by "hobbyists" in Europe. I can just imagine them trampling on eagle-preservation laws while trying to "honor" Indians.
For an old posting on a related subject, see Hopi Smothering of Eaglets. For an old posting on an unrelated subject, see Ill Eagle Immigrants.