The sacred bird of the Native Americans of this region, the Prairie Edge, is the Golden Eagle. This member of the hawk family is native to the plains, prairies, and mountains to the west of our location. In pre-settlement times, only a few mating pairs of eagles (Golden) nested in Minnesota. Preferred nesting sites are high rocky cliffs and ledges, and such habitat is rare in this state. Most of the feathers worn by our local Santee Dakotas were gotten through trade from areas west of Minnesota.
Although all of the feathers of this eagle are considered sacred, those most prized and worn as symbols of courage of the field of battle, are the feathers from the tail of the eagle.
The following information is submitted for your enjoyment and to give you a better understanding of these feathers and their use.