The Early clothing of the Iroquois consisted of furs and tanned skins. They were gradually replaced by manufactured materials, which were introduced by early Europeans.
In modern times, we still use the same articles of apparel in form and fashion as our ancestors but quillwork has given way to beadwork and animal skins to cotton and broadcloth. Although you will still see these materials used by many Native Americans today. Because of the false impression given to the public by movies, television and fiction writers, it is convinced that all Native Americans looked, talked, and dressed alike.
The Haudenosaunee are proud of their heritage and equally proud of the distinctive traditional clothing of our people. We still wear our traditional clothing at the longhouse ceremonies and special occasions and have incorporated many of these stles in our normal everyday wear.
Women: After the treaty period began (1780s), women’s clothing included a skirt of broadcloth or calico, a long calico blouse, leggings that came to the knees, and a robe or wrap in the winter. The entire border was embroidered with beads or silk ribbon. Border designs on skirts usually consisted of the sky dome and celestial tree with branches curving out to signify life. The over-dress was made loose fitting in a solid color green, red, or blue on calico with long sleeves and a ruffled yoke. It fastened in the front with intricately designed silver brooches.
Men: Men’s Traditional dress includes an over-shirt with long sleeves, and leggings of red, black, or dark blue cloth tied at the knees. Beading around he borders of the leggings often incorporates symbols like the sky dome and celestial tree. A velvet belt is worn at the waist and silver brooches decorate the clothing. Silver breastplates are worn around the neck. They are sometimes inlayed with coral or incised with designs and symbols. The Kahstowi or headgear completes the outfit and identifies the specific Nation.