The ancient Maya trapped birds for their feathers. They used these colorful feathers to decorate hats, fans, clothing, spears, hair bands, knee bands, collars, necklaces, wristlets, anklets, and other jewelry.
Only nobles could use feathers. Some used feathers in their hair. Feathers were also used to add height to hats.
The most important bird was the quetzal. Quetzal tail feathers can be three feet long. Only royals could use the gorgeous iridescent green tail feathers of the quetzal bird.
If a commoner used feathers for any purpose other than decorating garments for the nobles and royals, they could be killed.