Muskogean Women’s Fashions before and after British Colonization
Many Southeastern Native Americans AND the general public are under the impression that the clothing worn today at ceremonies, stomp dances and festivals were what was always worn in the past. The women’s dresses are beautiful; particularly those of the Florida Seminoles, but those fashions actually date back to the 1700s. The same can be said of the “long shirts” worn by Southeastern men.
It is quite likely that the Muskogeans formerly made cloth for blankets and shawls with polychrome, striped patterns like ribbon dresses. However, there was about a 150 year hiatus when Muskogean women apparently did not know how to weave, or else did not weave enough cloth to make dresses.
Prior to the extensive interaction between societies that resulted from the founding of Georgia, Muskogean women wore very different fashions than what one sees today at stomp dances. Another little known fact is that Muskogean towns annually elected “trade girls” who were essentially beauty queens with benefits, i.e. professional escorts. It was the highly intelligent “trade girls” whose names have often been recorded by history.
If interested in learning more, go to: Good Old Fashioned Way
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