What Clothing Did the Bella Coola Tribe Wear?

The Nuxalk First Nations people of the Bella Coola Valley wore very basic clothing made of cedar fiber. European traders introduced fabric to the Nuxalk wardrobe.

The Nuxalk Nation is a First Nations people who traditionally resided in the Bella Coola Valley in British Columbia, Canada. Like other First Nations of the Canadian Pacific Coast, the Nuxalk people traditionally made their clothing out of cedar. Women usually wore the most clothing. Traditional women’s clothing consisted of a skirt made of cedar bark and a cape. Men frequently wore no clothing at all; however, they sometimes wore cedar bark capes to shield their bodies from the rain.

Both men and women also wore hats made of woven spruce tree roots, which offered protection from the rainy climate. In addition to clothing, the Nuxalk Nation also used cedar fiber to make everyday supplies such as baskets. Baskets were used as storage containers and for carrying.

The Nuxulk people wore masks during potlatches, funerals and ceremonies. These masks were elaborately carved from wood and painted. During ceremonies, people told stories about their ancestors and supernatural figures. Masks represented family crest figures. Usually, secret societies led by the chief organized ceremonies and only initiated members wore masks.