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Utah Residents Fight to Use Eagle Feathers

Utah Residents Fight to Use Eagle Feathers

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A legal battle is brewing over the rights of white Utah residents who practice American Indian religion to use federally restricted eagle feathers in ceremonies.

The law limits the right to have the feathers to members of federally recognized American Indians tribes.

The feathers are the most powerful objects in the culture's ceremonies, and tribal members must earn the right to handle them.

The latest legal battle has stretched out for almost a decade, and white Utah residents who want to have the feathers face formidable opponents.

Many tribal members, backed up by the federal government, say feathers and other eagle parts should be reserved for American Indians as a way of preserving the culture.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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