Iroquois, or Haudenosaunee, typically made clothing from woven fibers and animal hides, such as deerskin. They adorned their clothing with wooden beads, porcupine quills and feathers. Traditionally, men wore breechcloths, a type of skirt with one edge tucked through the legs and secured onto a belt. Women usually wore skirts and tunics or dresses. Both genders wore moccasins made from tough leather.Continue Reading
Both genders also wore leggings. Men wore them under their breechcloths to cover their legs fully, and women wore a shorter version under their long skirts and dresses. Children wore essentially the same types of clothing. In winter months, the people also wore large coats and head coverings. The Haudenosaunee people didn't wear large headdresses like those of the Sioux, but male Iroquois wore gustoweh, a headpiece with beads and feathers arranged to denote different nations within the Iroquois Confederacy. For example, three upright eagle feathers on a man's gustoweh showed that he was from the Mohawk Nation.
When European settlers came to the Americas, the tribes adapted their styles. They started using European fabrics and ornaments in their garments; instead of wooden beads, they started using glass beads. By the turn of the 20th century, they favored suits instead of breechcloths, and as of 2015, most wear current fashions, saving traditional wear for ceremonies and formal events.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions