Traditional Native American Indian Regalia

Native American Indian shawls can be very beautiful and not just for powwows and fancy dance.  They are not only for ceremonial use.  Since the regalia is beautiful, it can be worn by just about anyone that appreciates this type of fashion.  While there are some variations, the basic regalia is somewhat unchanged; it’s basically an oversized scarf that is worn on more than just the head.  In this article, we’ll take a look at some popular styles of these scarves in more detail, along with some additional information you may find of interest.

Handmade VS Factory Made

You can make your own Native American Indian shawl, or you can buy a handmade one, or a factory made scarf.  It’s really a matter of personal preference.  As you would expect, if you buy a handmade one, it’s going to be one-of-a-kind, so you will most likely pay more, especially if there’s a great deal of design and detail included.  Tribal variances are normal, but regardless of tribe, all are beautiful.  If you make your own, you can add all the accessories you wish and still find ways to keep it traditional in appearance.  Do not expect to find nice scarves cheap, no matter what tribal type you might be trying to find.  Also, even if you decide to make your own, the price will not be cheap as there are lots of supplies needed.  You can buy nice Native American Indian Shawls cheap, if you look around.

Intense Colors

Perhaps the most beautiful part of Native American Shawls the Indians wear for prayer or at powwows for dance is the incredibly brilliant, vivid colors.  They are beautiful.  Truly an absolute work of art that is incredibly appealing to look at, especially when coupled with headgear and the other regalia that accompany the female’s outfits.  These triangular wraps would actually look like a masterpiece when hung on a wall – they are truly that stunning.

When They’re Worn

They are worn at dances and powwows, some for prayer and other ceremonial occasions.  There are many types of dances performed where one could see this type of regalia.  Hoop dances, the fancy dance and war, the sneak-up performed by men, and the crow hop.  Men and women perform them, but he women are the ones that wear this type of regalia.  They can be worn for just about any type of traditional ceremony, when appropriate, for a great look with vibrant coloring and style.

Materials to Make Your Own

If you decide you want a homemade, traditional Indian shawl, you will need a lot of supplies to get it done.  It will be very time consuming, but you can make it the way you want it.  Listed below are the items you’ll typically need to complete this project, but it is not a how-to as I am not well versed on this.  The list isn’t intended to be exhaustive, but will give you a good idea of what you will need to complete your project for the fancy dance or powwow you are going to attend.

  • Pattern – You can find them free online.
  • Feathers
  • Beads for beadwork
  • Linen thread
  • Beeswax
  • Drum covers
  • Stretch cord
  • Material (silk, wool, lace, leather, cotton, cashmere)
  • Shells (abalone and trumpet)
  • Leather cord
  • Various craft supplies

It takes a great deal of time if you look into how to make a Native American Indian shawl, but you will be able to meet the looks of the tradition for your tribe and look great at this year’s powwow.