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Fun Facts on Native American Clothing

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Did you know?
Did you know that the Feather war bonnet is considered to be the most popular item of Native American Indian headwear in today's culture; however the roach headdress was considerably more common? Did you know that Native American Indian clothing changed dramatically after the Europeans settlers arrived? Read our facts sheet to find out more - why not watch the free entertaining video and learn about Native American Clothing the easy way!

Fun Fact 1:
The costumes and clothing of Native American people varied from tribe to tribe. Different tribes would be recognized by their clothing and by how their costumes were decorated

Fun Fact 2:
Native American clothing was made from natural resources and materials, and was dependent of the resources available in the region; materials included large mammals; buffalo, bear, deer, elk, moose, wildcats, small mammals; otters, rabbits, beavers, weasels, bird-feathers, fish-skin and snake-skin

Fun Fact 3:
Costumes and clothing was reliant on natural animal products, Native Indian Tribes were highly respectful of nature and no part of any animal was wasted or not put to good use. Leather, fur, feathers, skins, teeth, bone and claws were all used in the manufacture of costumes, clothing, accessories and ornaments

Fun Fact 4:
Plants were sometimes used by Native American Indian Tribes to make items of clothing and accessories. They would weave the natural resource into colored textured items or use narrow strips of strong grass as thread or bindings

Fun Fact 5:
The changing seasons and the territories were influential on the selection of costumes and clothing worn by the native American. Clothing could vary from a simple leather cloth (breechcloth) tied around the waist, to fur lined trousers tunics, boots and gloves worn in sub-Arctic weather conditions

Fun Fact 6:
Footwear was worn by most Native American tribes, usually they were a soft shoe made from leather or hide, the shoe was called a moccasin, and moccasin style shoes are still popular today!

Fun Fact 7:
Beads were made to embellish special items and to create jewelry; the beads were usually made from shells, bone and wood

Fun Fact 8:
When we think about the clothing of Native American Indians, the most iconic item would probably be the Indian headdress. The visually striking feathered war bonnets are symbolic and worn by high ranking Indians from the Great Plains region of American. The war bonnet (or warbonnet) is constructed from the tail feathers of the golden eagle, which is considered by Plains tribes to be the greatest, most powerful and spiritual of all birds. Each feather on the war bonnet is earned by the wearer by accomplishing good deeds and acts of bravery. The headdress is worn in high honor; the feathers of the golden eagle are said to hold important spiritual and magical properties during battles and ceremonial occasions

Fun Fact 9:
The feather war bonnet (or warbonnet) is considered the most popular item of Native American Indian headwear in today's culture; however the roach headdress were considerably more common to Native American Indians. A roach headdress was made from stiff spine-like porcupine hair, and often included hair from white-tail deer, moose and turkey beard. Like the feather warbonnet the roach headdress is traditionally worn only by men, it is usually worn by warriors, dancers and in religious ceremonies

Fun Fact 10:
Breastplates made of bones (hair-pipes) from buffalos or birds were worn over the chest area as a display of wealth, status or religious importance. Breastplates were occasionally worn as amour during battle to protect the torso against arrows and bullets

Fun Fact 11:
Native American clothes for women often consisted of a tunic style top or dress that was sometimes worn with leggings, made from the softest animal hide. The clothing, embellishments and accessories that Native American women wore varied depending on the tribe and the location

Fun Fact 12:
Native American clothing for kids and children varied too, depending on the region and climate; generally the clothes were similar to those of the adults, however in warmer climates the children, up to the age of puberty, would often wear no clothes

Fun Fact 13:
Jewelry was worn by both male and female native Americans. The jewelry was made from natural resources including bone, teeth, claws, sea shells, stones and wood. It was common for men to wear jewelry, such as necklaces and armbands and women to wear armbands, bracelets and earrings. Some tribes made Jewelry with the belief that natural resources held special powers and magical properties that would benefit the wearer; these benefits would include properties for healing, peace and strength

Fun Fact 14:
Native American Indian clothing changed dramatically after the Europeans settlers arrived. Indian tribes were forced together and each saw what the others were wearing, the clothing became similar with the exception of tribe headdresses which helped to distinguish peoples origins

Fun Fact 15:
After the Europeans settlers arrived the use of horses by Native American Indians was established and clothing adapted to suit changing lifestyles. European clothing became an influence and clothes for hunting changed, fringed buckskin tunics worn with leggings became fashionable amongst many native American tribes. Glass beading was introduced which was used to embellish clothing, jewelry and costumes

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