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Northeast Ladies

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  • Northeast Ladies

    Hi all,
    I was hoping to get a discussion started on the different styles (tradish & contemp) of northeast dance clothes and also have some questions answered. I am of wabanaki descent and have noticed that most western abenakis dress in style similar to that of iroquois women with the wrap skirt, overdress, beaded collar, crown, etc. The main difference being the style of beadwork (double curves) but I still have seen plenty of women with the embossed styles of beadwork.
    Can anyone elaborate on these styles and others? Are there any good resources on the 'net?
    I also have some questions about this style of outfit. Do you ladies still use wool for the wrap skirt? or is velvet an okay alternative? is this skirt still truly a wrap around or do you just put a kick plate in to make it look this way? is the beadwork on the skirt backed with anything?
    I'll stop with all the questions:Chatter now. let's get this discussion going!

    maplesugar

  • #2
    Hi Maple Sugar,

    I'm abenaki and have seen a few skirts done in velvet but mostly wool is being used. The velvet can get hot out there dancing but if you can find a cotton based velvet material then its not too bad.

    I wear a wrap skirt with floral beadwork around the bottom edge that I have backed with scrap material to protect the stitching. There are a couple of ladies who dance with the abenaki dance troupe who wear a two tiered cotton skirt with thier overshirt and sash.
    There is a good site named Brilliantly Beaded that has wabanaki beadwork featured as part of the Hudson Museum's exhibit.

    www.umaine.edu/hudsonmuseum/virtual1.htm

    Theres also an Abenaki museum in Swanton Vermont that has some examples of clothing. I'll get the addy later.

    Hope this helps.

    Jill

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    • #3
      Hi, here is the link to the Abenaki Museum online.

      www.abenakination.org/tribalmuseum.html

      :D

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Brown wlf,
        Thanks for posting the addys for Brilliantly Beaded & the Abenaki Museum, beautiful stuff!! I guess velvet would be a bit hot in the dance arena for sure. I have a wool allergy so I'm trying to find an alternative fabric that would hold the beadwork well and still look good. I've been living in the southwest for several years and haven't been back to New England in a long time so I've been wondering what all the ladies have been wearing up there. A friend gave me some copies of pics from Odanak taken 2 or 3 yrs ago and the girls up there were all wearing elaborate beaded collars and seeming to go back to bucksin dresses instead of cloth.
        I've been thinking about and wanting to put together a set of northeast dance clothes for a long time and don't have much in the way of resources down here. I'd like it to be as tasteful as possible, none of that turquoise buckskin and neon pony beads people think us New England tribes are famous for LOL:)
        Are you all wearing the loose fitting overdress or the ones that are fitted through the waist then flare out alittle? I was looking for a pattern for one. I thought that sewing the overdress might be a good way to get started. I figured I could find a nightgown pattern and shorten it to the appropriate to length. Is this a good idea? Anyways, I keep chattering :Chatter sorry for all the questions

        maplesugar :)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by maplesugar
          Hi Brown wlf,
          Thanks for posting the addys for Brilliantly Beaded & the Abenaki Museum, beautiful stuff!! I guess velvet would be a bit hot in the dance arena for sure. I have a wool allergy so I'm trying to find an alternative fabric that would hold the beadwork well and still look good. I've been living in the southwest for several years and haven't been back to New England in a long time so I've been wondering what all the ladies have been wearing up there. A friend gave me some copies of pics from Odanak taken 2 or 3 yrs ago and the girls up there were all wearing elaborate beaded collars and seeming to go back to bucksin dresses instead of cloth.
          I've been thinking about and wanting to put together a set of northeast dance clothes for a long time and don't have much in the way of resources down here. I'd like it to be as tasteful as possible, none of that turquoise buckskin and neon pony beads people think us New England tribes are famous for LOL:)
          Are you all wearing the loose fitting overdress or the ones that are fitted through the waist then flare out alittle? I was looking for a pattern for one. I thought that sewing the overdress might be a good way to get started. I figured I could find a nightgown pattern and shorten it to the appropriate to length. Is this a good idea? Anyways, I keep chattering :Chatter sorry for all the questions

          maplesugar :)
          I have seen the ones fitted at the waist that you mentioned once in a while and they look great. A lot of the ladies wear a traders v-neck type shirt, not quite as long as the overdress, with a ruffle on the edges of the v and sleeves. I have also seen the chemise ,which was a type of underdress worn under the outer dress by the white women of the fur trade era.

          A nightgown pattern hmmm, never thought of using one. A friend of mine used a Missouri River pattern for a mans shirt and added to the length. I have a chemise and a longer ribbon type shirt without the ribbons that I wear with my wool wrap skirt.

          Allergic to the wool? I get a little itchy so I wear a slip underneath.
          That might help a little. If not you could make a skirt out of a linen type material and use that.
          Hope this all helps!

          Yeah, I know all about the pony bead and turquoise stuff! I cant convince any of the drums to sing bring in the clowns at grand entry. LOL!

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh Yeah, I forgot to mention the absolutely stunning outfit I saw last year being worn by a Mikmaq lady.
            The jacket, hood and skirt was made of a solid blue cotton material. It had the white curvular-linear beadwork and satin ribbon work. She was not sweating in the wool that hot day.

            Comment

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