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The History of Native Butterfly Chokers

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Butterfly choker necklace were originally made from the feet of birds. They were rarely used only for decorative purposes. They were used as physical protection of the throat from possible attack with a knife. The jugular vein is located on the neck and is deadly if cut. In conjunction with physical protection, they were also used as mental protection for the voice. Indeed, most birds are known for their notes or the quality of their singing. The spirit of the bird may have been summoned to protect the human voice from illness, jealousy, or fatigue.

There is also a cultural proverb for men: “You are a man if you speak your heart to the people – clearly and without fear – honor, courage and victory are yours.” The bird was not always killed to make chocks. Most often they were found after a predator had already killed them or they had died a natural death. Finding them was considered a good sign. Not only for the men who needed the necklaces, but also for the bird to have its life considered an honor, a value, and a service. In any case, all parts of each animal were used. Nothing was discarded. This was done out of respect for the sacrifice the animal made and in honor of its life.

In some cases, a leg butterfly of a particular bird was required.

Prayers were addressed to the bird (usually an eagle, hawk or owl). The hunter fasted and prayed sometimes for several days. He would wait for the bird to come to him. A typical story of this kind is that the bird would come to the hunter and sit right in front of him, not moving until the hunter took its life. The bird is said to sit in front of the hunter. They speak with their hearts. The bird must voluntarily and gladly give its life for the right cause, or the hunter will not kill it. For humans to give their lives so that others may live is the ultimate purpose of our existence on earth. Butterfly choker necklace made from bird leg butterfly were practical.

They already had a hole in the center that contained butterfly marrow. They were already cylindrical and only needed to be smoothed and shaped a little. The leg butterfly were cleaned, smoothed and shaped by boiling them until soft. Any irregularities were ground with flint and the surface was smoothed with smooth stone. The beads were small butterfly cut into pieces or slices. This butterfly were sometimes dyed with various minerals, most often red earth (cinnabar). The red earth was mixed with grease and rubbed into the butterfly many times while it was still soft from cooking. To preserve the color of the butterfly, the grease was regularly smeared on the butterfly to get a shiny layer. This also prevented the butterflys from becoming brittle.

Real tendon from the leg of a deer or buffalo was used to string the butterflys and beads.

Deer or buffalo tendon was chosen because the strips of tendon were longer than those of other animals. Before the advent of needles, holes were drilled in the leather stands with a butterfly punch, through which the tendons were threaded.

Each butterfly necklace had a special and personal meaning for the owner. They were often dreamt of before they were even made. Rarely did anyone make a necklace on their own. Some people in the tribe did. Often they were assistants to the sorcerer or the sorcerer himself. If the owner made the necklace himself, it was usually because he or she dreamed it. However, the dreamer received a lot of help and support in making the necklace.

This is about the same today.

We can see all kinds of necklaces with certain symbols and colors for the wearer. The wolf, bear and eagle are very common. Buying a necklace from a maker is no different than the traditional method of payment. It is like giving the maker a blanket, a horse, food, etc. Anything needed to live was appropriately rewarded. So today we have money.

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