Photo of the statue called Hunkayapi in Rapid City, South Dakota

Weekly Gem #279, Tying on the eagle plume

Published 11/19/2022

Location: This hidden gem is at the corner of 6th & Main, in Rapid City, SD (see the Clue Me! Map).

The Eagle Feather is incredibly meaningful in Native culture. Any feather is a powerful symbol of connection between the bird from which the feather came, the Creator, and the owner of the feather. Of all feathers, the Eagle Feather is the most revered. The eagle is the bravest and strongest of all birds. It flies the highest and is the messenger to the Creator.

The Eagle Feather is the most sacred and honored gift. The feather must be earned through brave or respectful acts by the recipient, which shows that they are ready to keep the Eagle Feather with the great care that is required.

This statue depicts a Lakota girl preparing for her naming ceremony. Her grandmother has selected one of her own feathers, the one that is most fitting, and is tying the first Eagle Plume into her hair.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


Ready to be given a name


The statue called Hunkayapi

Why It's Interesting

This statue shows an important step in Sioux culture, when the girl is getting ready for her naming ceremony, and receiving a feather.

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