Did you know that most American Indians (before the advent of European civilization pushed in upon them) could tell from a footprint, a piece of clothing, the style of bow and arrow or other facets, what tribe the article came from? How many of us could tell by simply looking at a person, where that person was from and what he or she did for a living? We share so many common traits today (one state to the other), that it might be hard to tell, let alone pick up an article and tell at a glance where it was from and what tribe. Anyhow, I thought that it might be fun to have a look at a few of the Western tribes and how they were not only similar, but how they were different. Oh, I’ll be giving away a free book today, also.
I thought we’d have a look at the different hair styles:
This young fellow here to the left is Crow. Notice the hair straight up on top, the loop necklace, the braids starting high and going straight down. The hair going up like this was called pompadour style. Here are some other images of the Crow:
Notice the looping necklace, the braids starting high mostly and the pompadour style of hair. The Crow men were known to be very proud of their very, very long hair and their hair frequently touched the ground as they walked. The women, due to cutting their hair when a relative died, women often had to augment their hair by adding to it in order to get the length.
Then there were the Sioux or the Lakota, Dakota or Nakota (depending on the dialect). Now the picture to the right is a favorite of mine — it’s Adam Beach, who is not Sioux. However, his style of hair and dress could be Sioux. What we generally think of as Western Indian is often the image of the Teton Sioux. The men wore their hair in many different styles, but often left it loose. Two braids with a center part was common. Here are some images of the Sioux: Notice that the braids start a little lower down on the face and note the part in the middle.
The Sioux men also made a habit of wearing a bone choker and what I’ve always referred to as a breast plate made of bone. Notice that the young man nearest wears this bone breast plate. Also note that the image on the far right is that of Sitting Bull.
And then there were the Cheyenne. The young man to the left (nearest) is Cheyenne. Because the Cheyenne were allied to the Sioux, often their style of dress and hair-style often mimicked the Sioux. The Cheyenne were fearsome warriors. Interestingly, they once were farmers, but moved West, or were pushed West and once settled there, they became some of the most famous warriors in all of American history. Here are some other images of the Cheyenne:
And then there were the Blackfeet. The Blackfeet men sometimes wore their hair in the style of the pompadour, but one would never have confused them with their traditional enemies, the Crow. Like other tribes, the men wore braids (and the women, too), but the men wore their hair in three braids (one in the back). Shell earrings (white but often pink) were traditional styles for both men and women. And often the Blackfeet wore the choker and the looping necklace as well.
The picture to my far right is Blackfeet, also. Notice, too, the manner in which the Blackfeet wore their war bonnets…straight up — a little different than the Sioux.
Well, I do believe that this is all the time that I have for this subject today. The photo to the left isn’t as large as I would have liked, but I’m wondering if you can guess which tribe is represented?
Can you guess? All of the following books of mine were all written about this tribe: Gray Hawk’s Lady, White Eagle’s Touch, Night Thunder’s Bride, Wolf Shadow’s Promise, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, The Princess and the Wolf. I’ll be giving away one of these books to a lucky blogger today — and it doesn’t matter is you get the tribe right or not. 🙂 So come on in and make a stab at this — I’ll announce the tribe when I announce the winner of the book.