Do you ever look at an Indian costume native and think how beautiful it is? You are not alone. Many people think the Native American culture is a beautiful thing, and this translates to their clothing and headpieces.
Definitely, the most iconic of all the Native American regalia is the feather headdress. The feather headdress is a majestic piece of accessory worn by the bravest and most revered of men. Not everyone can wear one of these. If you have earned the right to own one, then you will receive high honor from your fellow tribesmen.
The feather headdress is not an easy thing to obtain. The feathers ideally come from the most valued of all birds, the eagle. However, since eagles are protected nowadays, master craftsmen who create replica Indian feather headdress use duck and rooster feather instead. High quality duck and rooster feather make for exquisite feather headdresses as well and if you are fortunate enough to own one, be sure to take good care of it so you can leave it for the generations to come.
The feather headdress may be the most recognized one, but it is not as often used by the warriors as you think. It is, after all, highly impractical to have a trailing feathered, heavy hat sitting on top of your head as you vigorously battle your enemies. Warriors and young male children usually wear roach headdresses instead.
The roach headdress is made of stiff porcupine or deer tail hair. The hair is dyed and fashioned to create a sort of bunch in the middle, like the Mohawk we all know and love (actually the Mohawk was named after this style and the tribe it is often associated with). The tufts of hair is collected and gathered on a bone or leather strap to be attached to the wearer’s hair. Braids, feathers and bone are often included as decorative pieces in this wild and awe-inspiring look.
Since these headdresses are quite masculine, the females in the tribe do not wear them. What they wear is a feather headband, and they wear this in their daily lives. This is a leather band or deer skin strap worn across their brow with two or three upright feathers tucked in at the back. The strap is usually embellished with elaborate designs common to their tribe.
A more formal headpiece for Indian women are the more feminine headdresses. These are not the “war bonnets” that we mentioned earlier. These womanly headdresses are more delicate in design. They have intricate and beautiful design on them, with beading, feathers and fringes often added to make it look even prettier. Princesses and important women in the tribe wear these in important ceremonies and events.
The Indian costume native is well recognized and well loved. However, it must be said that proper care and respect must be given when they are worn to value the culture and way of life it represents. There is a lot to learn about them and it is an honor for Indonesian artisans to share their history with them.