Fan box

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Project by rrdesigns posted 04-06-2012 05:17 AM 2405 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This walnut box was designed to hold a ceremonial fan for a Native American Pow Wow dancer. The box has integral wooden hinges and mitered corners with splines. Laser engraving was used to place the dancers’ name on the box side. Not pictured is an interior handle tie down carved out to match the profile of the fan handle which secures the fan and raises the feathers for protection when traveling. The lid is held closed by mortised rare earth magnets and opened with the aid of ebony finger lifts.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

7 comments so far

View lizardhead's profile


652 posts in 3013 days

#1 posted 04-06-2012 06:12 AM

What a wonderful piece. I love it, a lot of thought for a precious piece. Would you please comment for other readers about the legalities of owning these feathers. I am sure we will find it fascinating.

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3408 days

#2 posted 04-06-2012 11:35 AM


Even you can own turkey feathers. Turkey hunting season starts early in the Spring most places. This year the season in Tennessee runs from March 31st to May 13th. When I was 15 I spent a Summer at the Missouri – Kansas border. I spent some time talking to an 80 year old Crow Indian who told me one of the things he did as a youth was to take tail feathers from a live golden eagle… And he told me how he did it. He tied a rabbit to a stake in the center of a huge tall grass prairie before daylight. After a few days the local population of eagles got used to a free feed and he dug a shallow trench and covered it with grass. He lay covered in the trench till the eagles landed to feed. Then he grabbed a handful of feathers from two birds. So, being young and dumb I tried it too. Only I didn’t take any feathers. I just reached up and touched a live golden eagle! They are HUGE from that perspective. That was in 1964. I got older, I’m still waiting for smarter…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3512 days

#3 posted 04-06-2012 12:09 PM

well done beth

and the handle ‘lift’ is a great idea
to keep the feathers from rubbing
and getting trashed

i have made boxes for NAC members for years
(aromatic cedar lined – unfinished inside)

for those that don’t know
raptors feathers are illegal to own
unless you are native american

there is a govt. agency that collects dead birds
and a long list of those seeking them
for ceremonial use

having worked for wildlife rehab places
they do get birds that are hunted or shot
and left to die
and if found the perpetrators
are fined ($5,000) and one year in prison
many are trapped and the feathers pulled
but there are what are known as ‘blood feathers’
that the quill is part of the veins
and when pulled out leave the veins open
and the bird can die if not rehabbed quickly

unfortunately ranchers and farmers
shoot them if they think their livestock
or a heard might be in danger (like calves and sheep)
(seriously though one or two out of hundreds or thousands
isn’t that normal in any business cost)

i have feathers that were given to me by my friends
and so long as the quills are ‘beaded’ and adorned
i can keep as they are gifts from native americans
but would be confiscated if the quill is raw and natural
of course i am a member (guest) of the native american church

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3038 days

#4 posted 04-06-2012 12:33 PM

Beth, this is a wonderful box and I love the hinges. The feathers are beautiful. Thanks for that info, David. You always gotta love the birds – especially the big ones.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View a1Jim's profile


117270 posts in 3749 days

#5 posted 04-06-2012 01:10 PM

Nice work Beth a most unique project.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3501 days

#6 posted 04-06-2012 05:55 PM

Very special piece! A woodworking project with ‘heart’.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3111 days

#7 posted 09-21-2012 02:43 AM

Very nice work.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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