Peyote Fans, Pow Wow Fan, Feather fan, Smudge fans, Ceremonial Fans, and any other kind of fan used by Native Americans. This page is created for people that want to learn about the different type of fans, the purpose we use fan, and education material about fans.
As told to us by our elders, these fans are quite significant to the Native Americans. They are used in the Native American Church to sing and to pray with. They are also used in Pow Wows to dance with. The legends told to us about these fans are as follows: This story is told according to the Navahos elders. There are many others told by other tribes, but this is the way this particular fan is put together.
The fringe part of the fan is said to represent our roots. We usually put 12 fringes on the handle of the gourd rattles and the fan handle. These 12 fringes represent our roots; it represents our 12 months; it represents the 12 tails of the eagle and hawks; it represents the hogan songs, the mountain song, and the early morning dawn songs. This is where our roots lies. The Navahos have strong ties to their roots: the roots being their origination, the clans being passed down through the mother, the elders, and all relations. The fringes are made of buckskin to represent our necessities of life; as the deer was used for food, clothing and shelter. We as human, we all have roots, some keep these roots strong and keep in daily contact with where they are coming from We nourish these relations with our elders. We respect our elders, since they are the reason we are alive today. This is why we usually put 12 fringes on the fans and gourd rattles.
The beadworks and the floral decorations are each made differently to represent the morning dawn, the sunrise, the sunset, the dark and also the different seasons. This is where all walks of life are born, live, die - and this is where we live our daily lives.
ANATOMY OF A FAN
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~MEANING OF AN EAGLE TAIL or HAWK TAIL FAN~
An eagle or a hawk has twelve tails. Each of these tails represent certain things according to the Dine (means the people, also known as Navajo) legends. The right center tail is said to represent the Naghee'nezhghani, or Monster Slayer, the male side, and the sky. The left side is said to represent the Tobaghishchini, or One born for the water, the female side, and the water holding and giving life on earth. The five feathers on the right side of the fan is your father's side. That represents the red colors, the harsh side of you, the fire side of a person, the hunter's side of you, the one that has harsh teaching. The five feathers on the lefts side represent the mothers side. That is represent in blue colors. That is the calm side, the comforting side, the caring side of you, that is the side that gives life on this earth. Putting both sides together, we are humans. This is how our people talk about these fans. Being human has five dimensions, each tail represents these different dimensions. They are; social, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Each of the feathers on the right represents your father's side. Your father's side has these dimension, that is what your right side represents. The left side represent your mother's side, she has her dimensions too. When we are raise with all these dimensions, we are raised very well. When we bless ourselves; when we are boys/men, we bless our right side first. When we are girls/ladies; we bless our left side first. This is how our elders talk about these eagle and hawk tails.
The Immature Golden Eagle, the black part of the feathers represent the darkness. The white part represents the early morning dawn. This is why in the Dine culture, these tails are usually put on the Ye'iis as bonnets. It represents the good things in life. This fan is usually associate with the east. To the west, the red tail hawk is represent that way, usually carried by ladies in the Dine Culture.
These are very much respected by our people, and if you want, please do respect and carry on these teach with pride!
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FANS
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******* Single Hair ties ********
******* Flat Fan *******
Style #1 - This style is a loose flat fan. The fan is strung together, so it opens up and close to fit into a gourd box. Sometimes their are no beads to hold these feathers together, and it drops like a drop fan. This would most likely be used by men. It can be used in dances, peyote ceremonies, and/or devotions
Style #2 - This is a Stiff Flat Fan, GROUPED. These feather are permanently set in place, so the feathers do not move around. The feather work is one whole piece of feather work around the feathers. This fan has a design on the front and the back of the fan. This fan would be use mostly by ladies. It would be use by jingle dress dancers, or used by ladies in the peyote ceremonies. The feather worked is called grouped feather work. This fan is used only for educational purpose.
Style #3 - This is a Stiff Flat Fan, INDIVIDUAL. The big difference on this one is that each individual feather is feather worked. The feathers in this fan does one move, they are permanently set, it is a stiff fan. This type of fan would be used by dancers, or by ladies in the peyote ceremonies. Many traditional dancers (common among both men and ladies) and jingle dancers like this style fan. Usually a bigger fan box is needed for this type of fan. Some people prefer straight cut fringes on these types of fans. Most NAC people prefer twisted leather fringes on these types of fans.
Style #4 - This is a double side, stiff flat fan. This fan has 24 tails in it. It is a double side fan. You can hold the fan any side, and the design is usually the same on both sides of the fan. This type of fan can be made into a side drop fan, by loosing the feathers. It will only open up to the side. For this particular fan, it is a stiff fan. This type of fan is most commonly used in peyote ceremonies and by straight dancers in pow wows.
Style #5 - This is a traditional Dancing style Wing Fan. This is for educational purposes only.
******* Side Drop Fan *******
This is a Side Drop Mixed feather fan
******* Round Drop Fan *******
30 tail Scarlet macaw fan
30 tail, Mixed Macaw fan
******* Fan & Gourd Sets *******
Fully Beaded Gourd Dance or Peyote Set
Changing Wind Set - Fan and Gourd Set
Spiritual Water and Fan Set
******* Old Style Fans *******
1930 to 1940's style drop fan - NOT PATRICK'S WORK, this is just a sample.
1960's Style Fan - NOT Patrick's Work
******* Flop Drop Fan *******
Photos will come soon!
Double layered side drop fan, most common among the Oklahoma Indian tribes. NOT Patrick's Work, sample only!
******* SHADOW BOX FANS *******
For the ELITE COLLECTORS, THESE ARE FOR YOU! These are for collectors only, these are permanently set inside shadow box show cases. This is to permanently preserve the feather fan forever. This kind takes a lot more work to do, and many trips to find all the highest quality material. Only museum quality materials are use on this type of work. Acid free paper, glass front, high quality wood frames, one of a kind design cuts and layout on mattes. These usually measure 18 inches wide by 32 inches high.
What is different about this fan maker!
What makes Patrick's Fan work different from the rest? First of all, each fan is individualized, that is, made for very unique individuals. Patrick begins by getting to know his clients individually, and for what purpose the fans or rattles are used. How will his creations be used? Will they become part of a private collection? Perhaps they are intended to be heirloom pieces. The answers to all these probing questions marks the beginning of Patrick's unique artistic process.
Patrick will then meditate over all the client information to get a clear picture of the colors and design he will use. Tobacco is often used in Patrick's Native culture to establish relationships with others, as well as being used as offerings during prayer.
The design can take anywhere from a single week to a few months to create. Patrick's creative process evolves during the course of everyday life running, daily chores, as well as during ceremonies and while participating in sweats. Patrick will only begin work on his creations when he feels he has the design firmly in mind.
The feather work is by far the most time-consuming part of the process. Many hours are spent on the details. It is Patrick's intricate details that take up most of the time in the process, and also what sets his creations head and shoulders above the rest. Upon completion of a fan, the feather work is sealed, thereby preserving his work for years to come and insuring his clients receive top quality craftsmanship.
Patrick's beadwork is created with the unique gourd stitch. This beading technique was created by Patrick and his brother Bennie. The gourd stitch is the result of Patrick's relentless pursuit of perfection, trial and error, and his artistic talent. The gourd stitch is only just beginning to be a style known and copied by other beadwork artists. Unfortunately, there are more and more people who continue to attempt to copy Patrick's unique style and intricate designs.
Patrick uses two sizes of beads in his work. Patrick uses size 13 cut seed beads for his traditional peyote stitch creations, and size 14 seed beads are used for Patrick's unique gourd stitch.
Patrick only uses top quality white suede leather for his work. He will also use brain-tanned and smoked hides as well. Patrick requires only the best hides and leather for his fans.
Patrick takes as much time and care in his selection of the feathers as is required to satisfy his exacting standards, even if it takes him weeks and months to complete. Only top quality feathers, selected carefully by Patrick, are used. Patrick will often scrap feathers when he feels they are not acceptable, and will begin searching once more for precise top-quality feathers.
It is this unrelenting attention to detail, quality, his unique use of color and design and his superior craftsmanship that sets Patrick's art in a class all its own. This commitment to quality, regardless of the time involved, is one of Patrick's trademarks, and what assures that his clients receive only the most unique, museum-quality pieces to be found anywhere.