Feathers have a lot of uses. They can be trimmed to form fletching for arrows and darts. They can be turned into fishing floats. They were used as symbols of heroic deeds woven into head dresses of the Native Americans. Down is a great insulator and is another type of feather. Parts of feathers are useful in tying fishing flies. They also can be turned into writing instruments. Ink usually was kept in a bottle and transferred into a traditional glass blown ink well. The quill was stripped and the end was trimmed with a small sharp little knife to firm a nib. This pen has a lathe turned little holder— and rather than being trimmed to a nib this feather is modern with the end trimmed and a ball point pen insert slid into the quill.