CLOTHING

 

The Native Americans of the Plains made most of their clothing out of tanned animal hides. They made their finest clothes from the skins of antelope or mountain sheep, their everyday clothes of deer or elk skins.Very often they decorated them with special designs of porcupine quills, and later, with trade beads.

During the hot summer days on the plains they seldom wore much clothing. But in the cold season a very important piece of clothing was a warm buffalo robe. It was made of a large piece of skin with the fur left on. The side without fur was usually decorated with designs that were painted or decorated with porcupine quills sewn in place. The painting often recorded the family history, or war or hunting exploits.

Moccasins, shoes made of animal hides and often decorated with quills or beads, came in different patterns depending on the region.

Traditional Plains clothing consisted of a skin dress for women, a shirt, breechclout, and leggings for men. The clothing was embellished with quillwork, elk teeth, beadwork, fringes, and sometimes, hair.

 

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