Published on March 9, 2013 by Amy
The way of life and the clothes and clothing of the Native American men and women was dictated by climate and the animals, fish and birds that were available to them. The natural resources and materials available to the different groups in each area or region provided the clothes and clothing of the different tribes. The weather and the changing seasons also impacted the type of clothing worn. The regional cultural groups are categorised as the Northwest American Indians, the Northeast Woodlands American Indians, the Southwest Indians, the Southeast American Indians, the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Indians and the American Indians of California. The men and women of these groups wore different clothing according to the traditions of their tribes and the climates in which they lived.
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The following articles provide illustrated articles about Native American clothing of the men and women and the traditional or ceremonial dress and regalia of the tribes and cultural regions.
The Pictures of Native American women and men in this section provide an opportunity to study the differences between the clothing and hair styles of the men and women of different American Indian tribes. There are pictures, paintings, images and photographs of the clothes, clothing and ceremonial dress of Native American Indian women and men from all of the main tribes.
The well known garments and items of traditional clothing and ceremonial dress included the breechcloths, buckskin shirts, deerskin dresses, the fringes, animal robes and furs, feather headdresses, roach headdresses, shawls, headbands, breastplates, belts and pouches of the American Indians.
The Native Americans were highly respectful of nature and never wasted any animal products. Hides, leather, fur, feathers, skins, teeth, claws were all put to good use in creating Indian clothing and ornaments. The indigenous American animals used in creating Native American clothing included buffalo, bear, deer, elk, moose, rabbit, fish (skins), weasel, wildcats, otter, ermine and snakeskin.
The history of Native American clothing made a radical change when the European settlers arrived. As Native American Indian tribes were forced into closer contact with each other they adopted similar styles of clothing. The headdresses of different tribes were the exception to these adaptations. The introduction of the horse led to many tribes changing their habitat and life style to become nomadic hunters of the Great Plains and the history of their clothing changed again. The history and changes to American Indian clothing changed when the Indians adapted and merged some European styles of clothing with their own.