November 03, 2009

How traditional Cherokee women dress

In response to Anonymous, who thinks traditional Cherokee women may have looked like Liv Tyler in a Pocahontas costume, here's the proof:









Hmm. No feathers or leathers in any of these outfits, Anonymous. We're still waiting for you to provide the first shred of evidence that Tyler's costume isn't a pure stereotype.

Do you understand now why her costume is wrong, buddy? Or are you too dense to grasp the evidence in front of your face?

You're now losing the debate 14 examples to zero. I suggest you give up before I put my foot even further upside your butt.

For more on the subject, see Tricking or Treating Indians.

14 comments:

D said...

But is this how Cherokee women would have dressed pre-contact?

Simone said...

Wonders if people consider how European tribes dressed before they became known for their national outfits?

dmarks said...

I can't tell what D's point is. Maybe that Native cultures are some how not real, not valid, after 1492?

Shonie said...

Just what D said, "How did they dress before the arrival of the almighty white man?"

As a Navajo, I know that if you look at photos of Navajos from long ago, as well as currently many have taken on the non-Navajo style of clothing. Cowboy hats, shirts, jeans, etc. I’m pretty darn sure we didn’t dress like that back in days before the white man came.

So in a nutshell, how did the Cherokee dress before the arrival of the white man? I’m pretty sure they weren’t wearing dresses, ribbon shirts, bonnets, etc…

jean said...

I'm with D.
These colourful dresses remind me somehow of Mexican folkloric attire.I'm no wardrobe expert but I wonder if white man dabbled in this too.

D said...

I was simply curious.
@ dmarks: Of course that's not what I meant! People don't dress up as contemporary Indians though, but as "pre-contact" or what they imagine it to have been.
Noone dresses up like this:
http://hem.passagen.se/tehila/poca.jpg
("post-contact")

D said...

@ Shonie: Thanks for your answer, that's what I meant. I also don't find it likely that pre-contact Cherokee dress were bonnets and "prairie-style" dresses. Pretty though and very feminine, just like Navajo dresses!

Simone said...

if we were to consider the dress of some of our ancestors prior to the landing of the European we would have to remove glass beads, metal jingles, ribbon shirts and a number of other items that have come to stand for Native dress..It would be curious to see how Cherokee and Seminole and other tribes that have incorporated Euro introduced items into dress that has become identified with a tribe looked prior to this influence but it would require research and in some cases speculation. I for one love the creativity that went into adapting and adopting the Euro introduced ites and detest when I am confronted with stereo typical "Indian" clothing meant to define Indians without consideration for the tribe being represented.

dmarks said...

Simone: "I for one love the creativity that went into adapting and adopting the Euro..."

Yes, it is always interesting to see how cultures adapt and change over time, and this always includes partial adoption and adaptation of elements from other cultures.

That's multiculturalism, isn't it

Lisa said...

But they didn't have cotton dresses and sewing machines before the Europeans arrived. So did they dress like Pocahontas before cotton and sewing machines?

If not what did they dress in?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Simone said...

Lisa, the real question would be what styles of clothing did (FILL IN TRIBE) wear prior to the arrival of the Europeans?....What types of materials were accessible to (FILL IN TRIBE) to use to make and adorn their clothing?..Did the (FILL IN TRIBE) trade with their indigenous neighbors or were they isolated..then do the research and share....

FRYBREADGURL said...

pre contact cherokee woman's clothing consisted of a wrap around skirt made of deer skin, an under skirt woven of hemp,in those times the women were bare breasted wearing necklaces of shell beads or other natural adornments. In colder weather both men & women worn Deer hides with the fur worn next to the body for warmth. Moccasins were up to the knee. Bear grease was used to make moccasins water proof. Fibers were also made of mulberry inner bark for cloakes with feathers attached.

FRYBREADGURL said...

The contemporary Cherokee Teardress, was fabricated by Virgina Stroud, a young Cherokee woman who was entered into a pagent around 1969. This came about because previously she wore a borrowed dress from a friend of another tribe ( kiowa) I believe...Since there was no official Cherokee Dress,Virgina Stroud made one of fabric, which became the Western Oklahoma Cherokee official dress. Some Eastern Cherokee women have opted to wear the cloth dress, but it is not a traditional precontact style.
I myself prefer to wear more traditional style of deer skins, and natural accesories without any european influences.

Anonymous said...

Looks like what gypsies wear. Some Romani gypsies lived in tribes and blended in nicely.