|"The Difference is in the Details"
|Sioux Specialties offers the most realistic imitation raptor feathers on the market today. The
difference is simple, it's in the details. Creating a great feather is simply knowing exactly what real
eagle, hawk and owl feathers look like. I have spent countless hours researching feathers, studying
birds of all sorts and gathering research photos. Photos of real feathers surround my workbench
and serve as my source of guidance and inspiration when creating any feather.
This section is dedicated to the education of what to look for in imitation feathers for your
pow-wow, rendezvous, or period costume. There are several pages to this tutorial, sorry to
overwhelm you but there is much to learn. To understand feathers one must study them in detail
just as one scrutinizes a myriad of beadwork & quillwork characteristics. As such, a plethora of
images of real raptor feathers are presented here. Click on any of these for a larger view of the
Enjoy learning and thanks for visiting Sioux Specialties.
with 2 Immature
Golden Eagle tail
clusters of hawk
and owl feathers.
Some eagle fluffs
|Crow Bustle, mostly
mature Golden Eagle
wing and tail
|The shield to the left is mostly
Golden Eagle wing feathers. *1
|As you view these and other photos of eagle feathers, note some of the following
- Color; generally speaking Golden Eagle feathers are not dark black but a deep, dark brown.
Only the youngest of Goldens' feathers are the deepest of black.
- Rakus; a.k.a. the center quill of a feather. On top, there is a white stripe that stretches up to a
point within the dark portion. On the back side of the feather the rakus is not white but
speckled and blotchy with dark brown coloring. This is seen best in the two photos on top
- Ogive; the curve of the feather from tip around the side. These feathers have a characteristic
curve that many feather producers don't pay attention to or even try to replicate.
- Lack of White; the general idea most people have of a Golden Eagle tail is white with black
tip. There aren't any white parts to these feathers. They are off-white or dun.
- Spots and Shading; most feathers have spotting and shading. The spots are usually in
elongated ovals, sometimes with a pointed end, pointing the quill end. Not many feather
producers take time to create this detail beyond a spattering with a paint brush. Most
importantly, note the darker section comes lower on one side of the feather. This side is known
as the leading edge.
- Uneven widths; webbing on each side of the rakus is different in width. The thinner side is
generally referred to as the leading edge while the wider side is the trailing edge.
- Size; contrary to what people think, eagle feathers are not the size of baseball bats. While
they are generally wider than other feathers, they aren't necessarily super long. It is best to
search for the largest feathers possible for reproduction feathers. Extra large, white turkey
feathers are very difficult to find but do the best you can. Sorting through pounds of feathers
is the general practice of the more experienced feather painter.
||Beuchel Museum, St. Francis, SD. Rosebud Reservation. Online, virtual
||Author's collection. Note, photos of real feathers were in the possession of
others. Please see disclaimer below.
||Photos of feathers from the resource collection of Bob Laidig.
|Feather Tutorials Page Directory
All feathers shown and offered here are reproductions of raptor feathers, either painted or natural exotic feathers
that are legal to possess. We do NOT possess or distribute any raptor feathers or body parts.
Sioux Specialties makes no claim that the items created by us are made by an enrolled member of any tribe.
However, all artifacts are created employing traditional construction methods and design styles of Native
eagle feathers, hand painted eagle
feathers, imitation eagle feathers,
native american feathers, hawk and