Contrary to popular opinion, Indian headdress hats are not only the feathered ones we see so often portrayed in films and television. There are several kinds of Indian headdress hats that different Native American tribes do use, each one special and unique in its own way.
The most widely recognized headdress that we all know is the Indian feather headdress. These headdresses were worn by chieftains and the bravest warriors of the tribe. Each of the feathers is representative of acts of bravery and strength that the warrior has accomplished. While the feather Indian headdress is often also called the war bonnet, the long, floor grazing feather headdresses were seldom used for war because it restricted mobility. Instead, they were worn during important events and ceremonies.
The more common headdress hat that warriors, dancers and even young Indians used is the roach headdress. These were made with stiff animal hair like porcupine (hence it is also called “porcupine roach headdress), deer tail or moose hair, dyed a bright color and incorporated with other decorations like shells and bone. The hair was gathered in the middle on a leather or bone base and arranged in the Mohawk style that we see today.
Basket hats are another common hat that Native Americans use. While the above mentioned headdresses were often only worn by the male members of the tribe, the basket hats can be seen on Native American women and girls on a day to day basis. These beautifully designed in various shapes and sizes using the cedar bark. The drawings and designs on the basket hat is customized to depict the wearer’s life and family information.
Buffalo headdresses, also known as horned headdresses are also associated with Indian tribes. These headdresses are worn by the most important men in the tribe, often signifying the wearer’s bravery and leadership. The buffalo headdress is made with a long shaggy buffalo fur down the back, with helmets and horns in front to protect the warrior’s head.
The Indian headband is a well-recognized head accessory of many Native Americans. This is a simple headpiece, constituting of a single leather decorated band wrapped across the brow, with a feather or two tucked behind the head. While most Indian headdresses were worn for war or to show strength, the Indian headband is worn more for aesthetic purposes.
For the more elaborate head dresses, it is usually masculine and even brave women warriors are not known to wear these. While this may be so, there are still other types of headdresses that women do wear like intricately designed peak caps, beaded head coverings and high headdresses resembling a tribal crown. Many of these headpieces had elaborate designs, feminine ornaments and fringe that did not just command respect, but admiration for its beauty as well.
Definitely of all the Indian headdress hats, the one most popular and often asked about is the feather headdress. Replicas of these types of headpieces headpieces can still be bought in specialty shops online.