It’s my pleasure to bring you more about the native American clothing and the insightful culture. Are you ready to take a flight with me again? I’m really broke because all my money has gone to pay the airport tax! Nevertheless, I feel so proud to be able to live for fashion, die for fashion. I’m on an illumination path where I can’t look back now. Alright, no more crapping. Let’s take off for an inspiring history tour.
Navajo Clothing Overview
The known fact is that the early Navajo made their clothing from deerskin. Women dresses as well as men leggings and pants were beautifully made of deerskin cloth. Both wear moccasins and jewelry, which was made of silver and turquoise. They also used wool to make blankets and shawls for their clothing. Navajo men sort of influenced by the traditional Mexican clothing and would drape the blankets over their shoulders. Navajo women calico skirts were also influenced by white American women following the Long Walk in the late 19th century.
Other than that, Navajo women sewed together woolen blankets and used it to make dresses. They also wear the blankets as shawls. Besides, babies in cradle boards were worn and carried on the women’s back. Later, Navajo women wore long full skirts which they traded with the colonists. It was then the traditional style of dress underwent a little evolution.
Traditional Navajo Clothing
Most of the Navajo people still wear traditional clothing in their daily lives. The minority put on velvet, turquoise and silver only during ceremonies and social events. Women traditional clothing, after the early trade with the settlers mentioned above, includes foot or knee-high moccasins, a cotton skirt or pleated velvet, a complementary long-sleeve blouse, Concho and/or sash belt, as well as a shawl and some meticulous selection of jewelries. Navajo men also wear moccasins, velveteen shirts and jewelry.
Just like what has been discussed in Mexican clothing, due to the process of globalization, most of the people at any corner of the world now wear modern clothing. Same goes to the Navajos. However, because the people believe that one must wear proper traditional clothes in order to be recognized thus get help from the Great Spirit, they do still uphold their cultural practices during special occasions.
Various items of Navajo Clothing
The various clothing articles encompasses:
- Hair – In Navajo tradition, the women do not wear headdresses but only tie their hair back into a knot known as tsiieel. The hair is rolled and wrapped 4 times with white yarn, twice on each sides which represents the sacred number four.
- Jewelry – Turquoise being the traditional jewelry usually passed on through generations in the family trees. It’s the representation of one of the four sacred mountains borders Navajo lands, well-known as Tsoodzil, or Mt. Taylor.
- Belt – Navajo women wear two traditional belts at the same time or one at a time, during different occasions or reasons which require them to wear traditional clothing. The two traditional belts mentioned are woven/sash belt and Concho belt. The first carries the meaning of promoting good posture and character by imposing holiness and womanhood. It is used during labor too. The latter is a leather belt worn on top of the sash belt.
- Dress – Velvet or cotton is the material found in traditional Navajo dresses and skirts. Skirts come in multi tiers to represent the different phases of a woman’s life like during infancy, adulthood and elder years. Blouses are more often than not embellished with turquoise and silver buttons and come in long sleeve.
- Footwear – Foot or knee-high moccasins are covered with hard sole in order to protect the feet from harsh cactus ground.
I hope you find this article comprehensive and useful for you. Feel free to share with all your friends if you digg Navajo clothing.