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Stunning Native American Feather Tattoo Meanings & Ideas

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

Detailed Native American feathered headdress tattoo.

Detailed Native American feathered headdress tattoo.

Indian Feather Tattoo Design Options

When we take a look at Native American culture, we find that birds were often honored and feathers were commonly treasured. Many tribes used them in headdresses, arrows, dreamcatchers, arm bands, leg bands, head bands, and art. This tattoo option is a great way to permanently symbolize your heritage if you are of a Native American bloodline.

If you are of Native American blood, culture, or heritage, this tattoo is a great choice to represent that pride. Or maybe you just feel drawn to the customs and traditions of the American Indian tribes. For whatever your reason may be, nothing can express your respect and devotion like the Native American feather tattoo.

This tattoo is also often worn simply for its beauty. The Native American style of feather tattoo might include feathers from a variety of different birds, such as peacocks, eagles, and hawks.

You might be drawn to a feather in an arm band and may choose to add beads to your design. Or you might wear it as a leg, ankle, or wrist band, or around the neck. Some dress their bands with stones or jewels, include arrows, or depict one or more of a number of animals such as bison, bears, wolves, deer, hawks, or eagles. You may want to incorporate a feather with a dreamcatcher.

Another common choice is a single feather without a band. These feathers may hold symbolic meanings or they just may be a fashion type of tattoo. Either way, it is sure to catch the eye.

Native American Feather Tattoo Meanings

A Free Spirit


Uplifting Emotion






A Warrior




Native American warriors would often don these symbolic feathers for strength, protection, bravery, and courage before they went to war. Feathers (and birds) were very important to the Native Americans. They would use feathers in weapons, clothing, and much more.

A feather can fly on the wind and it has no bounds. Many Native Americans believed that the eagle had the ability to lift the souls of the dead to the heavens. Due to this, these feathers can represent free spirit or free soul.

The word "freedom" stylized as a feathered arrow.

The word "freedom" stylized as a feathered arrow.

Before You Tattoo

Before you choose a tattoo, make sure you research your design to learn about different interpretations and styles.

Also, make sure you review your tattoo artist and their prior work.


Angel Wilson on June 29, 2019:

i have a one on my leg

Holly Gomez on April 30, 2019:

I am looking for Apache Indian womens chin tattoos. I want bravery, warrior,.

Sandra dean on January 18, 2015:

I am in cheekoo indian from my grandmother and her sister indian twin from great grandfather full indian

Chantal on December 18, 2014:

Yes, I want MORE tattoos! I want an owl and a bow and I have the igemas picked out. All I need is a bunch of extra money. However, I've been wanting these tattoos for over three years, so I doubt I'll be getting them any time soon!I think you should just go for it. Get something on your upper thigh or your bum or another place that won't be seen at work. Just to see if you like having one.Also, literary tattoos are great if you want a tattoo that's not a cheesy design. You could get something with a cool script or font. "" is a great font website. You could get a quote from your favorite book or a song you like. Just don't get the font too small. I have a tattoo with 12 point font and it's probably going to look like a black bar in 5 years.I just realized that this is quite long, so I'll stop giving you ideas! lolMabel

HENDRICKS on February 28, 2013:

I have collected a few for my self thanks to the tattoo gallery I vote up...............

Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on February 11, 2012:

*AE, it is always great to have you come by. I send my many thanks. Yes, a people of great pride.

*Alastar, thanks again for coming by and for the comment. They look good on women's ankles for sure. I am pretty sure that is what it is. That was my guess.

*Alocsin, always great to see you. You got it. They are usually associated with Native American Indians jewels, stones, arrows, ect. The Indian feather gives you more options as a tattoo design then just a normal feather.

*Frank, always a pleasure. Yeah, they have some design similarities. I never thought about it like that.

*Bobbi, great to see you come by Bobbi. Thank you for the visit and your kind words. Thanks for everything.

*Gypsy, hey there my dear. I am always apprecitive of your time dear Gypsy. Be good.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on February 11, 2012:

Fascinating. I love the Indian style.

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on February 11, 2012:


I think a small feather on my foot with three little lady bugs would look good. What do you think?

Love your Tattoo Hubs--keep it up, very good.

Voted up--awesome--beautiful.

Your Hub Friend,


Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 11, 2012:

these are so cool too.. like the feathers even though they seem similar to the wings... they are not as scary yeah? LOL thanks for the share

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 11, 2012:

I see how this differs from ordinary feather tattoos, which you've also covered. There's typically some jewelry or symbol involved, aside from the feather. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on February 11, 2012:

Another awesome tat style discovery lyric. The feather tat on the woman's ankle is right sexy. Is that a rattlesnake button on one of them?

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 10, 2012:

These are very beautiful. I didn't know my father but i'm told that he was part indian. A very proud people. Thank you..