Native American Jacket

About the Native American Jacket

About the Native American Jacket

The Native American people from all across the United States have taken great pride in the making of their clothing, including the Native American jacket. A Native American jacket is generally made from the hide of an animal, depending on where that particular tribe resided. Native Americans took special pride in the craftsmanship of their clothing, and a Native American jacket most commonly would have been tanned and worked. The Native American jacket would be worked until it was the proper softness and texture.

Native American Jacket: Design and Symbolism

A Native American jacket may have a design or pattern on it done in beads or other various and more traditionally local materials. The design on a Native American jacket could be used to tell the status of a woman – is she married or not? It could also show someone’s status within the tribe as well.

The symbols on a Native American jacket could also represent which tribe the wearer was from. The type of adornments on such clothing also showed the skill and prowess of the wearer’s family as hunters. For example, if a woman’s Native American jacket was dressed with elk eyeteeth, it proved that the men in her family were talented and artful hunters.

Types of Hides and Decoration in a Native American Jacket

A Native American jacket would have been made out of a variety of hides depending on what part of the United States the tribe resided in. Deer, buffalo, big horn sheep, antelope, elk, moose, coyote, wolf – Native American jackets were made out of a variety of hides. Porcupine quills, bit of tin, teeth, bones, coins, shells, fossils, and rock were all decorative pieces used on the clothing. As soon as settler came to North America, beads were traded and soon Native American jackets were adorned with brightly colored glass beads as well. The design of these beautiful jackets did not happen in a day; the adornment and design and craft that went into the creation of a Native American jacket could take thousands of hours at the hands of a skilled craftsman or craftswoman.

The beauty of a Native American jacket does not just display a form of art, but also a history. While some were utilitarian, a Native American jacket could tell a lot more about the wearer than one might initially think.

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