An octant is made of ebony wood, brass, ivory and glass and was an invaluable tool used by Lewis and Clark to measure celestial objects and thus record their location on the earth. The feather laid over the octant is from an immature bald eagle and is decorated with dyed hair, hide and dyed porcupine quills and is taken from a calumet pipe. Calumet pipes were often offered in ceremonies by many of the tribes along the trail to initiate peace and diplomacy with Lewis and Clark. The octant was sometimes brought out by the officers to impress these same tribes. Without the tools and skills Lewis and Clark brought with them, the success of the expedition would have been in question. Without the aid and friendship of the tribes encountered along the way, the expedition would have failed.