Native American Unit Study - Lesson 3: Blackfeet Clothing

needs more photos

Lesson 3: My daughter created a Native American woman's dress in the style of the Blackfeet Indians for her doll.

The Blackfeet were a plains Indian tribe which lived in the North. Ranging from Colorado to Canada, they were dependent on buffalo. They ate buffalo, made their houses and clothing from buffalo hides and used the bones as tools and decoration.

My daughters love sewing and crafting. Therefore, the book Indian Costumes, written in chapter format and describing traditional clothing of several different Native American tribes was very interesting to them. While focusing on the clothing, the book describes materials used in the clothing as well as the clothing's purpose. Since Native American clothing was typically made from animal skins and decorated with natural objects, they learned a little about different animals surrounding the various tribes. In addition, they learned about the climate as people from the north wore heavier clothing while southern tribes dressed lighter.

After reading about the clothing of the Blackfeet, my seven year old began work on a dress for her doll. She used fleece since it is very easy to work with and it was available in the house, but she chose red fleece which confused me, so I asked her about it.

Native American clothing was typically made from leather so was colored in shades of white, yellow, to tan and brown. After reading the book, she looked up Blackfeet clothing on the internet to see better pictures. She liked one which was a bright red dress. It turned out that it was constructed from cloth in the late 1800s. Once cloth became available via trade, the styles stayed the same, but the construction materials changed. 

Please return to Highhill Education next week as we continue our Native American unit study.

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