A Description of the Chippewa Chief’s Hat

Published on August 22, 2014 by Amy

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Chippewa Indians
Chippewa Indians

The Chippewa Indians are one of the largest American Indian groups in North America. The terms “Chippewa” and “Ojibway,” “Ojibwe” and “Ojibwa” are all interchangeable when discussing the same group of Native Americans, as they are all different spellings of the same word for the same group of people. There are many interesting aspects of their culture, including the headdress that the chief of this Native American group wore.

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War Bonnets

The long, often-feathered headdresses commonly worn by Native American chiefs are called war bonnets. They were worn only by men, and only by a few officials within different tribes. The chief wore the biggest of the war bonnets within his tribe. The war bonnets came in different styles such as the trailer war bonnet, the halo war bonnet and the straight up war bonnet.

The Straight Up War Bonnet

The straight up war bonnet consists of a leather band that rounds the forehead and back of the head in a ring, with tall feathers standing straight and tall out of the ring toward the sky. Beads and leather strips were attached to the band in order to make it more ornate, with beads at the base of the feathers in the leather strip and strands of leather curled and hanging from the top of the feathers.

The Halo War Bonnet

The halo war bonnet had the same basic set up of a leather band with feathers standing tall and straight out of the band that wrapped around the head. The difference was that instead of having feathers standing out of the band around the back of the head, the halo war bonnet was a much bigger loop of feathers. These feathers were in a loop of leather strip that draped down to the middle of the back. The halo war bonnet was also adorned with beads to make it more ornate.

The Trailer War Bonnet

The trailer war bonnet was a longer and more ornate version of the halo war bonnet. It consisted of the same tall feathers in the front of the headdress, attached to the leather band around the head. The feathers draped all the way to the ground, acting like a train. This headdress was also decorated with beads and leather strips designed to make it more special. It was used frequently by the chief for important ceremonies.

Source: ehow

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged
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