Features of a Native American headdress include bird feathers and a strap to hold the headdress in place. Only a tribe's most influential or bravest members could wear headdresses, as they were seen as a symbol of strength.
Headdresses almost always had bird feathers, and it was common to add a feather to the headdress after each brave act performed by the wearer. Some tribes also required the wearer to fast and meditate to prove himself before receiving his feather. Headdresses could have multiple colors or one color, and the type of feathers used depended on the tribe's area. Feathers from certain birds, such as eagles, were of greater significance than others and were only given as signs of the highest respect.
Headdresses typically had a leather strap, although cloth was a less common option. The wearer tied the back of the headdress and could adjust it as necessary.
Only the men in a tribe made headdresses, and usually those close to the wearer made it for him. Wearers reserved headdresses for special occasions, including ceremonies and battles.
A warrior earned a feather in some tribes if he was the first in the tribe to touch an enemy in battle and also made it out of the battle unharmed. Other acts that benefited the tribe, such as those that brought political gains, could also earn a feather.