When thinking about cultural clothes from North America, one would be more inclined to immediately imagine clothes from the Red Indian clothing we usually see from movies. However, there is actually a huge range of traditional clothing deriving from different groups living in this area, showcasing a side of indigenous culture and tradition not frequently delved into. We have compiled a shortlist of some of these amazing pieces below:
Essentially a hooded overshirt with a large pocket, this garment is typically worn by Alaskan Natives. They are tunic-length, and can fall anywhere between the hips and the knees. Aside that, they are worn as pullover shirts, though zippers are now available for many of them as well. They are not gender-divisive, as both men and women can wear them, although the style of wearing might differ slightly between them. Generally, they are made from brightly printed cotton calico, velvet or corduroy trimmed with rickrack.
Traditionally, kuspuks are worn by many Alaskan legislators on Fridays. This tradition was interestingly started in 2000 by Mary Sattler, who was the House
Representative then, though now, there is a requirement to wear them with long dark pants. This trend is also becoming increasingly popular with travellers and people around the area due to their looseness and comfortability; perhaps you could try one on when you visit!
This is a shoe, typically made from deerskin or another type of soft leather, worn by many natives in Northern America. It consists of a sole and sides made from a single piece of leather, stitched at the top and sometimes with a vamp (which is an additional piece of leather). Usually, the soles are soft and are adorned with embroidery or beading.
Mocassins are, as a whole, used as outdoor wear for running or hunting. Their soft soles and flexibility allow
for reduced wear and tear, making them ideal for indigenous tribes then to hunt for their food. However, in the current age, mocassins have been slightly modified for use in the outdoors, though its use is no longer as strenuous as it once was in the past.
A guayabera is a popular type of men’s shirt that is said to have originated from a mixture of Native American and Spanish styled shirts, though there are claims that have traced it back to the Philippines. It is popular in Central and Northern America, as well as in various parts of Asia, especially Southeast Asia due to its comfort and durability. These shirts are characterised by 2 to 4 pockets in the front, followed by a matching shirt button for each and 2 seam lines on the back. Traditionally worn white and in pastels, they are now available in a variety of colours for you to try in!
Also known as “the Wedding Shirt”, it is usually worn in formal contexts such as offices and weddings, and are part of traditional wear in places such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This can be seen in 2010, when Cuba officially declared it as its “official dress garment”.
Mocassins are, as a whole, used as outdoor wear for running or hunting. Their soft soles and flexibility allow for reduced wear and tear, making them ideal for
indigenous tribes then to hunt for their food. However, in the current age, mocassins have been slightly modified for use in the outdoors, though its use is no longer as strenuous as it once was in the past.