What Did the Cree Wear?

Cree women generally wore long dresses that were equipped with removable sleeves, while Cree men usually wore leggings and breechcloths. Breechcloths were a type of garment that passed through the thighs and was held up by a belt; it was used to cover the genitalia. Cree women and men alike wore moccasins upon their feet, and in bad weather, ponchos and cloaks made from buckskin or deerskin were worn to provide warmth and dryness.

Traditionally, the Cree wore caps made of leather or fur, usually decorated with feather embellishments. Warriors among the Cree often wore porcupine broaches crafted from the hair of the porcupine. Long feather headdresses were popular among Cree chieftans in the 1800s.

The hairstyle for both men and women was two long braids, one on either side of the head. Face paint was used to adorn the faces during special ceremonies. Tribal tattoo art was applied to bodies, hands and faces.

Once the Europeans made their way to the New World, some Cree began to adapt European jackets and blouses, adding embroidery, ribbon appliques and beading details.

Modern Cree sometimes wear the traditional buckskin shirts and moccasins of their ancestors, but they also wear modern clothing such as jeans. The Cree also wear feathers and traditional clothing during dances and other special occasions.