What Kind of Clothing Did Pueblo Indians Traditionally Wear?

Pueblo men traditionally wore kilts, breechcloths and headbands, whereas Pueblo women wore a particular style of cotton dress called the manta, which reached the knees. Men and women pulled their hair into a bun called a chongo.

Both genders also wore deerskin moccasins, which the women painted white for ceremonies. Although the traditional manta covered a woman's right shoulder and left the other shoulder exposed, European missionaries objected to what they perceived as a lack of feminine modesty, prompting Pueblo women to adopt the use of blouses and shifts underneath the manta by the 19th century.

In addition to clothing used for daily wear, the Pueblo people utilized elaborate outfits for special ceremonies believed to bring the world back into balance. Dancers displayed intricately decorated masks, shirts, sashes and feathered crowns. Women wound strips of white deerskin, known as puttee, around their shins. Because ceremonial outfits required many hours of work to complete, they became well-guarded family heirlooms passed down through the generations. Veteran dancers sometimes loaned pieces of an outfit to new initiates while the younger dancers made their own.

The Pueblo were also renowned jewelry makers and had a fondness for silver and turquoise. The Pueblo people generally wear modern clothing in 2014. Puttee and kilts are reserved for ceremonial use.