Native American Headdress

Native American Headdress is an essential and very important part of the Native American culture.  The most recognizable headdresses are the opulent, feathered, and very large headdresses of decorated chiefs and honored members of each tribe.  Headdresses are often reserved for the most influential and important members of the tribe.  Not all members of a tribe will be allowed to wear a headdress in their lifetimes.  Although beautiful and intricate, often made out of bird feathers, headdresses are more symbolic than part of a costume or clothing.

The Souix Native American tribe is thought to be the first tribe to use the cultural symbol of Native American Headdresses to show status and honor within a tribe.  Most Native American Headdresses are not made in one sitting.  They are created and then added to over time.  Different feathers are added to the headdress to symbolize acts of bravery.  The more feathers a headdress has on it symbolizes how brave or important the member of the tribe is.

Depending on the birds that are indigenous to the area where the tribe is located, Native American Headdresses can be monochromatic or made up of many different colors.  Some tribes use the feathers from many different birds to create their headdresses, where other tribes use the feathers from only one or two different types of birds.  This makes different tribes’ headdresses look quite different from each other.

The Native American Headdress is held into place with a leather strap usually made from some type of leather or deer hide.  At times cloth was used; however, most Native Americans prefer to use leather.  The headdress was also tied in the back in order to secure it to the tribe member’s head.

Today, many Native Americans wear headdresses during special ceremonies such as weddings and other important events.  Headdresses continue to be kept sacred and honored within tribes to this day.  They are extremely important to Native American tribes and the seriousness of their importance should not be overlooked.

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