What Was the Clothing of the Pawnee Indians?
Pawnee women dressed in shirts made out of deerskin and large blouses, while the men often went shirtless with breechcloths and leather leggings. On special occasions, warriors donned special war shirts made of buckskin. When it was cold, both men and women wore large robes made from buffalo hide.
The Plains Indians, the Pawnee tribe included, were famous for wearing long-feathered headdresses for special occasions. They were only worn by tribe leaders. Men shaved their heads except for one long piece in the back, known as a scalplock, and wore a head ornament on top. Women wore their hair loose or braided.
Pawnee women decorated their dresses with long fringe and delicate beadwork, sometimes painting designs on them. Like the war shirts, these designs were unique.
The war shirts were important to the Pawnee tribe and Plains Indians, who assigned special significance to them. The shirts symbolized strength, honor and tradition, as well as serving as status symbols for those who wore them. Traditionally they were earned through battle, but in the contemporary world young men and women can earn them by excelling academically or physically.
As the Pawnee tribe was exposed to European settlers, they adapted their clothing to include cloth dresses and vests.