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Old 07-16-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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"battle" dresses

Sometimes here in Oklahoma I see women who wear dresses with the body one color and the sleeves another. Usually Comanche or Kiowa women. I've heard them referred to as Battle Dresses. Can anyone explain a little about these dresses? What they signify and who has rights to wear them? Do other tribes also have dresses similar and if so, what is their significance? Just hoping to get some conversation started. Forum seems to have slowed down. Everyone Pow wowing hard I guess!
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by tribaltagz View Post
Sometimes here in Oklahoma I see women who wear dresses with the body one color and the sleeves another. Usually Comanche or Kiowa women. I've heard them referred to as Battle Dresses. Can anyone explain a little about these dresses? What they signify and who has rights to wear them? Do other tribes also have dresses similar and if so, what is their significance? Just hoping to get some conversation started. Forum seems to have slowed down. Everyone Pow wowing hard I guess!

tribal,

I have seen these dresses but have never heard them called by this term before. I see them especially at summer ceremonial gourd dances and black leggins ceremonies.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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I may be mistaken as to the term used to refer to the dress. What made me think of it was that I was at Pawnee Homecoming a few weeks ago and a Golden Age couple (Comanche, I think) were sitting next to us. She had the most awesome dress. It was black with red sleeves, yellow between and teh edges where the two colors met were kind of wavy. I'd never seen one that way before. Only seen them straight. I should have asked her about the dress, but I'm a little shy around people I don't know.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:37 AM   #4
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The dress you are asking about is worn only by the wife, sister, daughter of a veteran. The Comanche wear it in red and blue usually with a frngless apron. The Kiowa wear it in red and blue UNLESS they are realsted to a member of the Black Leggins Warrior Society (which are only Kiowa military vets who fought in active combat). These Kiowa dresses blue and black, no apron, and have a copyright restriction.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:13 PM   #5
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They got a copyright on a dress? Man you guys are on your A game. You think we can do that with other clothes?
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:28 PM   #6
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Is this what you're talking about?


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Old 07-22-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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WhoMe, the photo you posted is what I was thinking as well.

I first heard the term "battle dress" used in an article published in a magazine some years ago. More recently, the NMAI's exhibition "Identity by Design," which showcased many styles of women's clothing, included a dress that was referred to as a Kiowa Battle Dress made by Vanessa Jennings. I've attached a photo. In the book related to the exhibit, Jennings notes that the red and blue combination is worn by Kiowa War Mothers and other women's auxiliaries, but that the red and black is reserved for women affiliated with the Black Leggings Society. As noted below, the book also says the design has been copyrighted.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Kiowa Battle Dress.pdf (547.6 KB, 145 views)
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by park View Post
WhoMe, the photo you posted is what I was thinking as well.

I first heard the term "battle dress" used in an article published in a magazine some years ago. More recently, the NMAI's exhibition "Identity by Design," which showcased many styles of women's clothing, included a dress that was referred to as a Kiowa Battle Dress made by Vanessa Jennings. I've attached a photo. In the book related to the exhibit, Jennings notes that the red and blue combination is worn by Kiowa War Mothers and other women's auxiliaries, but that the red and black is reserved for women affiliated with the Black Leggings Society. As noted below, the book also says the design has been copyrighted.

park,

Yes. I am familiar with this particular dress made by Ms. Jennings. I do think this dress had text referencing a battle dress, although I have never heard these kind of dresses refered to as such.

---

When tribaltagz used "Pawnee Indian Homecoming" and "Battle Dresses" in the same sentence, I immediately thought about "South Roads 49!"

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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YUP! Those are it! Thank you for the information! Also in the posts there was a reference to the black shawls worn by men and the black and red dresses worn by the women that refer to the red winged blackbird and wondered if it referred to the same style dresses.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribaltagz View Post
Sometimes here in Oklahoma I see women who wear dresses with the body one color and the sleeves another. Usually Comanche or Kiowa women. I've heard them referred to as Battle Dresses. Can anyone explain a little about these dresses? What they signify and who has rights to wear them? Do other tribes also have dresses similar and if so, what is their significance? Just hoping to get some conversation started. Forum seems to have slowed down. Everyone Pow wowing hard I guess!
Yo Tagz! Next Monday I will share with you what little I know. I am going to bring you an article that will help clarify things a little. I am willing to bet it is the same article that Park is talking about. For those that are interested, get a hold of Whispering Winds Vol 32 # 3 (2002). There is a 9 page article written by Vanessa Jennings called: "The Tradition of the Kiowa Battle Dress and Aw-Day-Tah-Lee in My Family". More off site.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:21 PM   #11
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Hey Hey Hey!

Thanks for the article! I wish that I had time to look at it more closely when you brought it by! I'm going to track down a copy for my own collection! Good to have you around buddy!
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