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What Is the Eagle Staff?

The Eagle Staff represents the stature and honor of a particular tribe or tribes. It commonly looks like a shepherd’s staff and is wrapped in either otter skin or buffalo skin, and exhibits eagle feathers (mainly tail feathers from a golden eagle) that indicate the Akicita honor of that tribe. Akicita is a Lakota language word for a warrior or leader who has earned distinction through service to the tribe in combat or some other fashion. In the olden days, it was used to also describe a policeman figure amongst the plains tribes. Today, it is used to describe a member of an honor society, or a service veteran. The Eagle Staff is always presented ahead of any other flag, and is more important and meaningful. It was the indicator of a tribe’s accomplishments in battle and the integrity and honor of its people.

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