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Chiefs' Look Is Carefully Crafted

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.tbo.com/sports/MGBNAT6788F.html Chiefs Look Is Carefully Crafted By SCOTT PURKS Tribune correspondent Published: Oct 26, 2007 TAMPA - The feathers
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2007
      http://www.tbo.com/sports/MGBNAT6788F.html

      Chiefs' Look Is Carefully Crafted

      By SCOTT PURKS Tribune correspondent

      Published: Oct 26, 2007

      TAMPA - The feathers were, according to the Chamberlain High Chiefettes,
      "stained," and "sweaty," and "stinky," and "moldy."

      "I didn't want them anywhere near my head," said Chiefette Katie Braman,
      holding her nose. "They were blech."

      "Of course they were," Chiefettes advisor Stacy Wrenn said. "We found a
      receipt in a drawer from when we bought the old [Chamberlain headdresses]
      and it said, I swear, 1985."

      The receipt, by the way, was found in 2005.

      That's when Wrenn and Chiefettes parents went to the Wagon Wheel Flea
      Market and found Red Eagle, a 59-year-old Native American Indian from the
      Lakota Sioux tribe, and that's when Red Eagle's hands went to work on
      hundreds of white turkey feathers (yes there are white turkeys) and
      thousands of beads.

      A few months later, 35 Chiefette color guard members, dancers and drum
      majors had 30 white feathers and 2,500 beads in each of their headdresses.
      In four floor-length versions, there were 90 feathers and 3,500 beads.

      Red Eagle, whose great grandfather fought at Little Big Horn and was killed
      in the massacre at Wounded Knee, said it made him as happy as could be. No,
      he saw no problem with helping a high school whose mascot is the Chiefs. "I
      see it as an honor," he said.

      Although, there were minor concessions: Chamberlain's colors include green,
      but Red Eagle avoided green in the headdresses, because "green is bad
      luck," he said. He also required a rundown on headdress care: Store
      headdresses in a white plastic bag (to help keep feathers white), then
      place the white bag inside a black bag with moth balls, because "Moths love
      to eat feathers." Sometimes, he said, rub turkey fat on the feathers for
      preservation.

      "Perhaps," Wrenn said, "I'll use the turkey-fat cleaning as a disciplinary
      measure."

      Probably no need to. The headdresses are such a hit that the Chiefettes are
      buying them for their own (at a half-price of around $75, because
      Chamberlain purchased them in bulk).

      "Look at it," said Braman, holding it up. "It's beautiful. It's something
      I'll cherish forever."
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