Native American Feather Tattoo Meanings, Ideas, and Design Options

Updated on August 22, 2018
thelyricwriter profile image

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

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Native American Feather Tattoos

When we take a look at the 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 a 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.

Eagle feathers are extremely important to many Native American tribes.
Eagle feathers are extremely important to many Native American tribes. | Source
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Native American Feather Tattoo Meanings

These feather tattoos can hold deep symbolic value to the wearer. They might represent...

  • A Free Spirit
  • Lightness
  • Uplifting Emotion
  • Courage
  • Strength
  • Freedom
  • Bravery
  • A Warrior
  • Loyalty
  • Honor
  • Protection
  • Guidance

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.

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What about you?

Would You Choose a Native American Feather Tattoo?

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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.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Sandra dean 

        3 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Chantal 

        3 years ago

        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. "dafont.com" 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

      • profile image

        HENDRICKS 

        5 years ago

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

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        *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 profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

        Fascinating. I love the Indian style.

      • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

        PurvisBobbi44 

        6 years ago from Florida

        lyricwriter,

        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,

        Bobbi

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        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

      • alocsin profile image

        alocsin 

        6 years ago from Orange County, CA

        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 profile image

        Alastar Packer 

        6 years ago from North Carolina

        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?

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        6 years ago from Southern Illinois

        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..

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