Native American Clothing

Native American Clothing

An Illustrated History

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Offers a collection of photographs from museums, collectors, and private dealers that documents five centuries of Native American artistry.

Firefly Books Ltd
More than five centuries of native peoples' artistry.

More than five centuries of native peoples' artistry.

Native Americans crafted beautiful clothing out of skins, pigment, quills and sinew. The collection of photographs in this outstanding reference celebrates this decorative genius. Many of the 300 photographs from more than 60 leading museums and private collections have never been published previously.

The book describes the clothing in fascinating detail, from moccasins and tunics to sashes, bags and ceremonial and burial costumes. Theodore Brasser explains who made what and how, as well as the meanings of the different kinds of decoration, such as beadwork, embroidery, appliqué, patchwork, weaving and dyeing. There are also many examples of native pottery and other historic artifacts that depict themes used in the clothes.

Native American Clothing provides a thorough historical background of the many influences on this clothing, including:

  • Mythology
  • Social status
  • Political standing
  • Wealth
  • Climate
  • Geography
  • Contact with European settlers.

The book covers the entire North American continent and is organized by tribal groups and regions:

  • Southeast
  • Northern east coast
  • Eastern Great Lakes
  • Eastern sub-Arctic
  • Great Lakes
  • Plains
  • Southwest
  • Plateau/desert
  • California
  • Northwest coast
  • Western sub-Arctic
  • Arctic.

Numerous maps show the ranges of the tribes and convey how trade and travel spread cultural themes.

With authoritative text and art-quality color reproductions, Native American Clothing will be important to collectors and historians and will also appeal to general readers.

Book News
Author Brasser (former curator National Museum of Ethnology, Netherlands, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa) provides a lavishly illustrated history and visual record of the clothing of native peoples from 12 regions of the North American continent. The 300 photographs, many of them published for the first time, are set in historical contexts covering topics such as agriculture, ceremonies, craftsmanship and materials, cultural identity, diet, the division of labor, hunting, migration routes, mythology, shamanism, and others. Oversize: 9.5x11.5". Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781554074334
Branch Call Number: 391.0089 BRASS
Characteristics: 368 pages ; 29 cm


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Feb 13, 2010

Divided geographically. I was impressed by the intricate embroidery, beadwork and quillwork involved.


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