Native American Church Objects

By Cindy Plummer

The Native American Church (NAC) has a large following on Navajo. And many of the ceremonial objects that they need are made and sold, usually at the flea markets. The ceremonial objects are authentic and hand made, usually by a member of the church. The objects include such items as drums, rattles, gourd boxes ($65-$90), medicine staffs, drum sticks, NAC feather fans (prayer fans), cedar bags, and drum bags ($75).

The prayer fans are made of exotic bird feathers and they are usually not sold at the flea market, however. It’s one of those things whereby you have to know someone. They are of high value and significance.  These birds are protected by federal law. A seller needs a permit to sell. Usually, the feathers sold are Macaw. They are costly and many earn a living from making them.

If you are invited to an NAC ceremony, you would see attendees carry these items with them, usually with a Pendleton blanket, robes, or shawls. These are popular with Native Americans.