Native American Unit Study - Lesson 5b: Midwestern Tribes

My daughter made a vest and cape.

On the plains and in the Great Lakes region, many different tribes wore vests made from animal skins. Capes were made to go over the shoulders of dresses of women in the Great Lakes region.

The book More Than Moccasins: A Kid's Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life (Hands-On History) by Laurie Carlson is full of Native American craft ideas. Most projects call for materials such as paper bags and plates. We often modify projects to use fabric especially when the historical material for the item was leather. Regardless, the book is a wonderful guide for completing projects in a Native American unit study.

My daughter made her vest and cape from fleece. First she cut rectangles by laying one of her tank tops on top of the material to get the sizing close. Then she sewed the material together at the sides and shoulders.

 Since lots of clothing contained fringe, she cut fringe into the base of her vest.

Tribes in the midwest used beads and porcupine quills to decorate their clothing, but my daughter used the embroidery sewing machine to add decoration to her vest.

He cape was made by cutting a large circle from fleece with a hole in the center for her head. Fringe was cut into the outside circle and decoration was added using fancy stitches on the sewing machine.

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