CLOTHING & OTHER CULTURAL ITEMS
Mohawk * Oneida * Onondaga * Cayuga * Seneca * Tuscarora
Artwork by John Kahionhes Fadden 2000©
Written by Kanatiiosh
The Iroquois, or as we prefer to call ourselves, the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), used materials for clothing found in our natural environment. Traditionally the Haudenosaunee used furs obtained from the woodland, which consisted of elk and deer hides, corn husks, and they also wove plant and tree fibers to produce articles of clothing. What I find very interesting about Haudenosaunee clothing is that even though in modern day we have incorporated calico and other fabrics into our clothing, the style and the symbolic decorations of our regalia remains the same as it did since time immemorial. Therefore, when you see clothing of our women made from calico and broad cloth, if you could make your mind's eye think of it as being made from deerskin, you would be stepping back in time to when no stores existed in which to buy such materials. This is not to say that we no longer use traditional materials to create our regalia because we still do, but one should understand that Native American culture is dynamic, for it is a living culture where adaptation and inherence to tradition is necessary for life to continue.
In the following Web pages, the clothing and some cultural items of our Haudenosaunee men and women will be discussed. Please keep in mind that some cultural items are not discussed because of cultural sensitivity issues.
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