Dewy Feathers Digital Photography
Last week one morning when I went to get the paper, I found these beautiful dewy feathers strewn around our driveway and lawn. It looked like there was some kind of struggle wherein a few feathers were lost ! I didn't see any other signs or bird parts and am hoping the creature escaped worse fate from whatever that was after it! When something like this happens, I always wonder whether I notice things around me since I took up photography or did I start toting a camera because I see things around me that I want to capture :)
These beautiful feathers reminded me about something I read a while ago: 'feather money - tevau' from Solomon Islands. We are familiar how Native Americans, Indonesian Islanders, and many many others hold feathers in high regard and use them in rituals. But in Santa Cruz, Solomon Islands, feather is currency! As many as 50,000 feathers from smallest scarlet honeyeaterer birds are fashioned into coils and used 'as a form of currency for settling important obligations' . Check the link to see a photo of the coil in the British Museum website. In ancient Mayan culture, the quetzal bird's tail feathers were used as currency and hence the Guatemalan currency is known as 'quetzal' ! Its amazing how many little beautiful birds have been sacrificed not for food but for their treasured feathers by various 'collectors' all over the world.