Cherokee Americans Clothing

The Cherokee Americans Clothing was unique to both the men and women of the tribe.

What did the Cherokee Wear?

The women wore skirts that were knee length and also wrap around. Deerskin was a popular choice for these types of skirts. A popular dress for the women that have remained in use even still today is the tear dress. It has a rich history from the Trail of Tears era and the dress of that time made from “tearing” dresses as scissors were not available.

Cherokee Americans Clothing

This pieces of Cherokee Americans Clothing was made for function as well as fashion since it had 3/4 length sleeves and a mid-calf length on the bottom. These both kept the dress from not sweeping the ground or getting in the way of dishes. The dress is made from calico print material and a diamond pattern around the skirt with a button down top too. The diamond pattern has since been added to other shapes including circles, triangles and the Cherokee 7 sided star. Besides the pattern changing ever so slightly the tear dresses of today are made to be floor length.


Cherokee Americans Clothing

The men utilized deer skin as well with their clothing choices. They wore breechcloths that were paired with moccasins and leggings with a blanket over their shoulder. A popular piece of Cherokee Indian Clothing for the men is the ribbon shirt. These types of shirts are made from calico cloth and were made to be loose fitting. The shirt has a unique feature that had its sleeves resemble that of the tear dress.

The two pieces of clothing complimented each other quite nicely. The Cherokee man’s shirt was named a ribbon shirt because of the weaving of colorful ribbon right into the shirt. The ribbons are carefully placed on the front and back of the shirts. There is also a turban that is still worn today by many Cherokee men. The hat is also made from Calico.

Cherokee Traditions

Both of these pieces of traditional Cherokee clothing are very important to the Cherokee culture. The torn dress has the prestigious title of being the official dress of “Miss Cherokee.” It also is sometimes worn at weddings and other celebrations of the tribe. The ribbon shirt also has its own brand reputation. The shirt is quite popular during powwows.  It is also worn by many gospel singing groups. The Cherokee National Choir recognizes both the shirt and dress as their official uniforms.

Cherokee Traditional Clothing

For both men and women, their clothing paid homage to the history of their tribe with headdresses only worn for tourists. Each man, woman, and chief wore moccasins and both the men and women had their own individual garments as discussed above. Tribal art tattooing is quite popular with the Cherokee. They were quite well known for their tattoos. Men chose to incorporate tattoos on their bodies as well as their faces. Face painting was also done in bright colors during wartime for the men as well. The men also sported heavily pierced ears.

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