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Proper way to wear a cloth dress

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  • Proper way to wear a cloth dress

    Ok ladies, some one once mentioned to me that it would be nice to have a thread on powwows.com on explaining what's the proper way to wear a cloth dress and the accessories to use so I guess it's up to me to start the thread.
    1.) Cloth dresses which is the easiest, cheepest and least accessories one could wear or make.
    2.) Types of materials one could use for both shawl/dress and how long should the sleaves be.
    3.) Which is better eagle plumes or single feather and how would one wear it (securing and direction it should go).
    4.) Half shawls (cheater) or traditional ones ( 2 yrds)?
    5.) Types of accessories to use with the various dresses.
    6.) Types of fans to use.
    7.) Knee high mocs or Beaded leggings w/ ankle mocs or cloth leggins w/ ankle mocs.
    8.) Crown, headband or barettes.
    9.) Which side should one wear the shawl (left or right)
    10.) Ribbonwork, Applicays, embrodery, ect.
    Any suggestions that anyone might have could help someone currently dancing or just start out. WHO knows someones way of doing things might be easer and shorter on time than what we might be doing right now. Wa-dv & Mahalo everyone for their inputs.
    Last edited by iolana1; 09-29-2005, 10:27 AM.
    'A'a i ka hula kahika, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.
    "One who wants to dance the ancient dance, must leave their bashfullness at home"

  • #2
    hey, thanks for that thread. Those are all the questions I have but did'nt know how to ask. I sure do hope there are lots of answers. I really need help on that cuz I wanna cloth dance. Just don't know were to start.

    Comment


    • #3
      What towear with a cloth dress.

      Well I quess the first thing to say is some of the things one would wear with the dress like mocs ,how to wear hair feathers would depend on How your Tribe does things and one should be care ful with certain designs as not to offend, with that being said a cloth dress can be as fancy or as plain as the wearer wants it. I have seen many ladies wear the beadwork that go's with their buckskins so to save the buckskin for the evening or in warmer weather. I hope that anwsered some questions . Thank-you
      I got a fevah! And the only cure is more cowbell!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        okay my opinion lol I think the best cloth to use is cotton material in the old days they used calico print meterial so something on that order for the dress, its cut out as a basic T-dress seams up the sides then you have the apron. The way I was taught is that you use the same material but a solid color to accent the dress the you wrap around the mid section of the waist with the edge on the left side thats so the bags and dropper won't get caught up on that edge, or vise versa if you wish. Now you can use a print for the dress then you have to wear a solid for the apron or if you wanted to were the solid for the dress you can use a solid or print cloth. also ribbon work on the edges to hide the fray end or
        hem I've seen both ways. necklace medallion necklace or a hairpipe necklace can be used. purses can be held or not.
        as far as the eagle plums I've seen both its up to the person, personally I have a drop plume attached to a rosette, Now for the footwear for a southern cloth (Kiowa) again I've seen both but the way I was taught was high tops this was the original 1800's name of boots, then in reservation days they were called womens boots, I've seen over the years the change of this wording and was taught that men had the leggins and women had the boots. now I observed the item names throughout the years northern women have leggins, southern women have womens boots hope I didn't confuse you. okay half shawls or full shawls well again I never use a half shawl but was always told to wear a full size on my arm and folded properly, the types of accessories to use well first off its up to which Tribe you belong to. For us southerners we have a belt normally have concho (this helps to hold the bags and the concho's are usually done in german silver with a dropper that goes down the leg in front of you body down to the ankle area, then you have the belt bags also know as strike-a-lite or light then awl case and wet stone case. Some little girls belt held all these items plus her fetish. as far as fans I seen straight fans used and all typesof feathers I don't think there are no resitriction I'm thinking the waterbird was used mainly for buckskin dresses though. now you guys have to remember that I'm Kiowa and not speaking for any other tribe lol this is what I learned and I'm sticking to it LOL
        Last edited by kiowakat; 09-28-2005, 08:40 PM.

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        • #5
          well said.

          Well said Kiowacat , Im bad about not going into detail about things,I sometimes forget not everybody knows these things and my friends are always telling me to back up and explain. The way you explained is in some ways like my people.Sometimes when I dont want to put on my breast plate I put on a medallion necklace with a scarf. I started out in a T-Dress and as I got older my family would add my beadwork little things here and there and my dress was cotten then when i was older i liked the taffeta and satin so that is what my T-dress is now and my dresses with applique on them are summer weight wool,sorry if im rambling i tend to type the way I talk! and as for cheatr shawls I kind of like the full shawls because there is always the possibility that you will have to wear your shawl for whatever reason.
          I got a fevah! And the only cure is more cowbell!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            very goot posts ladies.. keep them coming ... :)
            "finding your best friend in life and love is glorious"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by iolana1
              Ok ladies, some one once mentioned to me that it would be nice to have a thread on powwows.com on explaining what's the proper way to wear a cloth dress and the accessories to use so I guess it's up to me to start the thread.
              ditto ndnkidz... these are some good posts....

              however, i don't think there is one proper way to wear a cloth dress... it really depends on where you come from, like eagle plumes said... what's tribally specific... for example some of these posts seem to be directed towards southern style... let me just share with you the crow style... since i'm NOT a know-it-all... haha...
              there are two types of cloth dresses us crow ladies wear... the nez perce style cloth dress & the "under" cloth dress...

              the nezperce style dresses can be made from a variety of material ranging from corduroy (did i spell that right?) to velvet and now-a-days some heavy cotton, (i am NOT a seamstress, so please forgive my generic material references... haha) it all depends on personal preference & style. most of these dresses are winged dresses and include ribbon work around the sleeves and the bottom in addition to floral prints & designs in the front and back of the dress above the waste.... fairly simple.

              now the "under" dresses we wear also very simple. they are high collared, long sleeved dresses that are made from mostly cotton materials, as well as satin (believe it or not... whew... those dresses are quite warm!) anyways... in addition to using plain colors, we too use calico & floral prints. that's it, no applique, no designs... just a simple dress...

              we accessorize all the same as if we wearing our buckskin or elktooth dresses & wear: scarves, hairwraps, headbands, chokers, hairties, moccassins & leggins, belts and most of the crow ladies wear plumes rather than a single eagle feather. some of us wear it off a rosette as earlier mentioned & others wear it standing up on either side of the head (left or right) depending on your marital status - whether you're single or married...

              this is just simply to share another aspect and style of wearing a cloth dress... though i'm sure dresses are worn in a certain way based on where you're from, it seems that it is mostly up to personal style and comfort as well...
              "i don't like to walk fast man - i like to strut!"

              Comment


              • #8
                wew, thats kinda alot to soak up. But great threads ladies. Now does anyone have any ideas on northern cloth.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah bushy..............why don't you talk about northern now.
                  "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    cloth dress

                    I agree with Eagle Plumes. It depends on your tribe. Good advice ladies!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wa-dv & Mahalo ladies for all your posts 8-) There seems to be some very good information on So. cloth.
                      'A'a i ka hula kahika, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.
                      "One who wants to dance the ancient dance, must leave their bashfullness at home"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Accessories

                        Here is my mildly off topic $0.02....

                        I was taught the bags worn on the belt that once carried a woman's tools are symbolic of the woman's role in the family and nation. This is why care should be taken with their design and decoration, and why a woman isn't properly dressed without them. Although these tools are no longer used on a daily basis by modern women, the cases still remind us of traditional values.

                        In the pre-reservation economy the knife was the tool with which a woman dressed an animal, feeding her family. Wearing the case reminds us that we in conjunction with the men are providers. It recalls our obligation to be good relatives and good hosts. It prompts us to share with others.

                        The "strikes-a-light" bag carried the tools to make a fire and thereby warm a home and cook a meal. It reminds us to be nurturers. It takes women to make a home and a nation.

                        The awl case carried a tool needed to make clothing and homes, and to beautify. It reminds us that a woman needs to be industrious and creative. The work of her hands keeps the family going. Her beadwork shows her care for her family and friends.

                        As a whole these items symbolize the transformative, creative and sustaining roles of women. I was told, this is why some families give a girl a new set when she has her first moon or when she masters traditional arts.

                        Your nation/family may have different explainations and/or traditions.

                        Personally, I take great pride in making these things. I love to make them for friends and family, because they remind me of being part of great artistic tradition, which made such beautiful and meaningful things to honor their women. Although I don't dance, I keep my awl and sharpening stone in cases, which I carry in my beading supplies with great pride.

                        Boy, I wish I could explain this like my grandpa's sister did. The above sounds a bit new-agey in places. She never had that problem, LOL.

                        Anyway, good luck with your outfit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          beautufully stated

                          Originally posted by OLChemist
                          Here is my mildly off topic $0.02....

                          I was taught the bags worn on the belt that once carried a woman's tools are symbolic of the woman's role in the family and nation. This is why care should be taken with their design and decoration, and why a woman isn't properly dressed without them. Although these tools are no longer used on a daily basis by modern women, the cases still remind us of traditional values.

                          In the pre-reservation economy the knife was the tool with which a woman dressed an animal, feeding her family. Wearing the case reminds us that we in conjunction with the men are providers. It recalls our obligation to be good relatives and good hosts. It prompts us to share with others.

                          The "strikes-a-light" bag carried the tools to make a fire and thereby warm a home and cook a meal. It reminds us to be nurturers. It takes women to make a home and a nation.

                          The awl case carried a tool needed to make clothing and homes, and to beautify. It reminds us that a woman needs to be industrious and creative. The work of her hands keeps the family going. Her beadwork shows her care for her family and friends.

                          As a whole these items symbolize the transformative, creative and sustaining roles of women. I was told, this is why some families give a girl a new set when she has her first moon or when she masters traditional arts.

                          Your nation/family may have different explainations and/or traditions.

                          Personally, I take great pride in making these things. I love to make them for friends and family, because they remind me of being part of great artistic tradition, which made such beautiful and meaningful things to honor their women. Although I don't dance, I keep my awl and sharpening stone in cases, which I carry in my beading supplies with great pride.

                          Boy, I wish I could explain this like my grandpa's sister did. The above sounds a bit new-agey in places. She never had that problem, LOL.

                          Anyway, good luck with your outfit.
                          PERFECT

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does it matter what side you wear your knife, awl case, and strike-a-light bag?

                            Comment

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