False Face


War Clubs


Dress Styles




Talking Stick


Dress Styles






The women wore their hair long, often with traditional bear grease, or tied back into a single braid. They often wore no covering or hat on their heads, even in winter.

Traditional dress styles of the Kanien'kehá:ka Mohawk peoples consisted of women going topless in summer with a skirt of deerskin. In colder seasons, women wore a full woodland deerskin dress, leather tied underwear, long fashioned hair or a braid and bear grease. They wore several ear piercings adorned by shell earrings, shell necklaces, and also puckered seam ankle wrap moccasins.


Haudenosaunee women traditionally wore dresses made of deerskin. They were often decorated with Haudenosaunee designs using porcupine quills.

After European contact, the Haudenosaunee began to trade for cloth, glass beads, and other trade goods. Women then began to decorate their clothing with silver brooches and glass beads, and they used cloth to make clothing.

Today the Haudenosaunee have incorporated cloth like wool, broadcloth, and calico into the materials used to make dresses, but the styles remains the same as it was from time immemorial. One type of women's regalia is the overdress, which is fitted at the waist and flares out. The bottom edge of this dress is left with an open upside down V shape, and it is beaded.

The neck portion of the dress may have a collar, which is beaded, or it may have a rounded neck. If the dress has a rounded neck, then a beaded collar is usually worn to add beauty to the top of the dress. Sometimes women wear sashes or leather belts around their waists, which looks very nice.

Skirts & Leggings

Skirts and leggings are usually worn with the overdress. The skirt can be made of deerskin or cloth. Today many skirts are made from broadcloth or wool, and are elegantly beaded along the bottom border and edge. The skirt fits around the waist and is long enough to come midway between the knee and ankle.

Leggings can be made from leather or cloth. Most leggings today are made from cloth, broadcloth, or wool. Leggings are tied just above the knee and must be long enough to just touch the top of the moccasin. The legging is made so that at the bottom edge, there is an inverted V-shape that is worn facing the center of the ankle. This allows the wearer to move easily.

The bottom border and edge of the leggings are decorated with beading. The leggings and skirts usually have the Celestial Sky symbol repeated near the edge.

The Haudenosaunee use the smallest white seed beads when decorating their clothing. The beading is so exquisite, many people say the finished work looks like fine lacework.

Often times the designs used when beading, are taken from Haudenosaunee cosmology, clan symbols, or woodland designs of flowers, vines, and leaves.

Womans Iroquois Traditional


The traditional dress styles of the Kanien'kehá:ka Mohawk men consisted solely of a breech cloth of deerskin in summer, deerskin leggings and a full piece deerskin shirt in winter, several shell strand earrings, shell necklaces, long fashioned hair, and puckered seamed wrap ankle moccasins.

The men also carried a quill and flint arrow hunting bag, and arm and knee bands.

During the summer, the Kanien'kehá:ka Mohawk children traditionally wore nothing up to the ages of thirteen, the time before they were ready for their warrior or woman passages or rites.[citation needed]

Later dress after European contact combined some cloth pieces such as the males' ribbon shirt in addition to the deerskin clothing, and wool trousers and skirts. For a time many Mohawk peoples incorporated a combination of the older styles of dress with newly introduced forms of clothing.

Later, sinew or animal gut was cleaned and prepared as a thread for garments and footwear and was threaded to porcupine quills or sharp leg bones to sew or pierce eyeholes for threading. Clothing dyes were obtained of various sources such as berries, tree barks, flowers, grasses, sometimes fixed with urine.

Durable clothing that was held by older village people and adults was handed down to others in their family sometimes as gifts, honours, or because of outgrowth.

Mohawk clothing was sometimes reminiscent of designs from trade with neighboring First Nation tribes, and more closely resembled that of other Six Nations confederacy nations; however, much of the originality of the Mohawk nation peoples' style of dress was preserved as the foundation of the style of today.



Mohawk          Men and Woman


Iroquiois Head Regalia








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