Mission Statement from the Author:
Natives wore many kinds of garments made from the resources around them in their environment. Tanned Hides of animals and fish, (yes, even Salmon Skin in one case), Feathers, Plant Fibers of every kind, (Spanish Moss, Flax, Hemp, Fern, Balsam Pine) and they even used Wood for Masks and Bark for clothing coverings.
There are as many types of clothing as there are tribes, being a resourceful people, very little went to waste in their quest for comfort and style.
I shall attempt to showcase some of the more popular styles of clothing worn both before European Contact, (EC), and after, as well as provide information as to how they were constructed as I attempt to create my own wearable reproductions for teaching and personal enjoyment.
In recent times, there has been a popular movement to stereotype the type of clothing worn by Natives. It seems for some, there was only one type of dress employed by all people indigenous to this continent and it's design is one that lacks a proper respect for the peoples who made this place we call America their home for tens of thousands of years.
Before donning any apparel that may seem Native, please check your resources to make sure it is genuine and worn with the respect it deserves. Natives never drank alcohol or behaved in a way disrespectful of their beliefs when wearing sacred garments, and everything is sacred to the Native Peoples, so act accordingly.
You certainly wouldn't want your ancestors clothing or beliefs mocked, so treat others past customs and beliefs as you would like yours to be treated. Lets try to remember that at one time, all our ancestors wore hides and natural coverings for clothes. Modern clothing lines actually demonstrate a remarkable resemblance to the ancient clothing of our past.
The wonderful thing about Native Americans is that they kept a record in oral history and held sacred the clothing of their ancients enough to continue making and wearing the very sturdy and environmentally friendly clothing of their ancient past.
There has been an environmental movement in our modern times to move backward in time to fabrics of natural origin and design, to try to pry ourselves out of the plastic, artificial age we have encapsulated ourselves in.
It seems that Natives were more modern and forward thinking than we ever thought, knowing that the natural does more for the soul than any plastic or electronic toy can accomplish.
Native peoples are very adaptive and now wear the modern clothing of their choice, but are willing to share information about themselves if given the proper respect. If you have a burning curiosity to learn about Native peoples, there are many ways to accomplish this in a respectful and forthright manner. There are thousands of resources out there both on the internet as well as in Libraries, Schools and most importantly from Native Peoples Themselves.
In no way should this site be taken as the end all source of information on Native Clothing.
I have simply chosen to share the documentation and images I have collected in my personal quest to make and enjoy Native Clothing for myself, as it took me many thousands of hours to assemble the information I offer here in the hope it might save someone else on the same personal quest time and effort, as well as the opportunity to make new friends who have a similar interest.
Feel free to use this information, as well as visit the sites I gathered the information from where I have provided links. Most sites were very liberal in their permission to use this information and I Thank Them Heartily for the freedom to share it with others and encourage visitors to favor them with a visit in return.
If I have missed a link or you have more information about items featured, please feel free to contact me and help me make this site more useable as a resource.
More information will be added as time permits and I find more wonderful articles to share. If you enjoy this site or have a concern, please contact me and I will be happy to do anything I can to help you in your own quest.