Native American Indians

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Reservations avaThis is the last article from the series dedicated to the traditional Cherokee clothing. This time, we will talk about Cherokee folk dress from the mid-19th century to this day. Unfortunately, this is the time when a lot of Native American tribes were brought to the brink of extinction and a lot of ancient traditions barely survived during the Americanization and Europeanization of the New World. But step by step, the descendants of proud Cherokees got their clothing traditions back and learned all they could about their heritage.

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Mission influence avaWe are continuing our series of articles dedicated to the clothing traditions of the Cherokee people, one of the famous Native American tribes. And it’s time to talk about the appearance and spread of such important crafts as spinning, weaving, and beading. The early-mid-19th century is the period when Cherokee women got their hands on spinning wheels, cards, weaving looms, and other similar tools. And they loved to use them. Very soon, the Cherokees were producing such gorgeous articles of clothing that no European pieces could compare.

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Trade era avaWe’ve already published an article about Cherokee folk clothes from the early historical period (until 1650). This is the next material of a series and it will tell you about the traditional Cherokee dress during the so-called Trade Era (1650-1800). How did local garments change and why? What outfits remained the same? And was Cherokee-European partnership good for the Native American Indians at this stage? Also, let’s see the traditional Cherokee hairstyles, jewels, tattoos, and other body adornments.

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Cherokee avaDifferent neighboring Native American tribes had, for the most part, similar traditional costumes until the mid-17th century. That’s because local people dressed to the climate – it wasn't a fashion statement at all. But, of course, various ethnic groups had their individual peculiarities in clothing. Let’s learn a bit about the aboriginal dress of Cherokee tribe before 1650. We don’t have that much information from this period because lots of Native American Indians were exterminated, along with their traditions, beliefs, handicrafts, etc. But still, their ancestors study what they can about their national outfits.

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Navajo avaHere is the traditional outfit of a Navajo woman. It includes several significant pieces that have a deep sacred meaning. Local Navajo girls will tell us a little bit about their folk costume and what each element of the attire represents. This Native American culture is really interesting and unique. The Navajo people have their beliefs, myths, gods, and spiritual knowledge – all of that is shown in their traditional dress and jewelry. So, let’s find out more.

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Old photo avaThe world knows not enough about the Native American Indians, their culture, clothing traditions, and lifestyle. Of course, there are museums and exhibitions that preserve some of the knowledge but only the real-life situations can show any culture in its fullest. So, we’ve prepared for you a collection of old photos that can give us a glimpse of what the Native Americans were like in the late 19th – the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, we can’t have photos of these tribes from before the European colonization, simply because photography wasn’t invented yet. But it’s at least something.

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American Indian Art avaThe exhibition “Discovering American Indian Art” at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture shows us the way of life, customs and traditions, and folk handicrafts of the Native Americans. Elegant beading patterns, masks for the cannibal dances, outstanding headdresses and other accessories that can surprise you in many ways, items that represent a mixture of centuries-old beliefs of American Indians and casual lifestyle of White settlers, and many other pieces that belonged to Native American tribal people.

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fingerweaving avaOne of the authentic folk crafts of the Native American Indians is a fingerweaving. They wove narrow strips of fabric – belts, bag straps, sashes, and other items. This handicraft is very convenient because doesn’t require any special tools – like looms are used for ordinary weaving. For fingerweaving, you need only wooden sticks and yarn. Surely, modern weavers use some auxiliary tools (dowel rods, binder clips, rubber bands, etc.), but their ancestors could do without such things. Let us show you how to fingerweave + we offer you 5 various traditional Indian patterns to start with.

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War bonnet avaThe Native American beadwork is a very important craft for the American continents. The most common question people ask about beading in Native American culture is how did the Indians make beads? Jeri Ah-be-hill (born Geraldine Fuller), the representative of Native American Indians and Kiowa-Comanche fashion expert answers this question.

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war bonnet avaThe traditional warbonnet of Native American Indians is a sacred headdress. There is a deep philosophical meaning behind each small element of it that can be surprising or even odd for a European observer. We’d like to try to reveal at least some of the secrets and rituals connected to the Native American headdress.

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Native-American-costumes avaNative American Indian tribes lived in the territory of US and Canada long before the conquistadors. They lived in harmony with nature. That's why their culture is closely related with the laws of nature. Native Americans made their garments from animal skins and fur, bark of trees and other materials which they gained hunting and gathering. They used sinew as threads, made jewelry from wood, shells and stones, embellished clothes with beads and patterns on fabric. Native American Indian tribes survived in Alaska and in desert areas, in thick forests and in mountainous regions. They could understand the nature, respect it and use its gifts.