Woman's Northern Traditional Regalia


 This is my more fancy Traditional regalia. This was my first proper dress. I managed to complete it whilst still in my twenties I think. It took me eight years to bead fully. I am a very slow beader. It has been made from a mixture of hides. Some of the beadwork was done on commercially tanned buckskin. Over the years I have added brain tanned bits to it and beaded these. Hanging from the yoke is very long deer hide fringing. The yoke is separate from the skirt. I have two skirts. One smoked for bad weather and one white to be worn inside. There are about eight hides used in the construction of this dress. It is a stone in weight. I used a very traditional base for my beading but used my design and a modern palette of beads.
The plain little triangle in the centre is the animal's tail, and the contour of the beading follows the natural edge of the butt of the buckskin. I find these natural shapes beautiful and feminine. I was instructed in dreams on how to make this dress.
Usually hanging from the belt of a traditional lady you will find her belt set. An awl case, Strike a light case, and a knife sheath. I have replaced the knife sheath with the beaded drop. The beaded drop represents the old burden strap. This was a women's tool too. She used it to carry burdens of wood to the camp. These days it is barely recognisable as a burden strap. They have become works of art in their own right. Especially in Southern Plains regalia.
A woman whether traditional, jingle or Shawl dancer should have the bottom of her legs covered in Plains tradition. This is a pair of leggings that match the outfit.
She should also have her feet covered. This is the moccasins.
This is my fan. I am very proud of this part of my regalia. the feathers were a generous gift. I re arranged them to make the most of them and set them into a hand made handle that I then Beaded. The lose feather was also a gift. The fan handle does not have to be fully beaded. There are also different ways of arranging the feathers. Look at my Fans and Feathers page.
 A matching pair of hair ties is always a nice touch. But is not necessary. A simple shell disc will do.
Here are a pair of matching cuffs. These are not an essential part of an outfit either.
 Matching hair accessories are always a lovely touch.
Here you can see how the leggings are constructed.
There are slots in the top of the buckskin legging to insert a thong. This you tie around your leg to keep the leggings in place. Of course you can use elastic.
The breastplate is a very important part of woman's traditional outfit. They were originally made from bone hair pipe beads. This makes them very heavy to wear. They do not have to be made from bone beads these days.
  The breast plate can be fancy or quite plain. 
Here is the beaded belt and drop. The belt does not have to be beaded. And the drop is not necessary.
 You will often see Concho belts like the one below. These are very traditional.
This is the base of a beaded feather worn upright at the back of my head. This for me represents my Grandfather who was a warrior of the Second World War but has now passed. I have the greatest respect for him and miss him every day.
A beaded medallion finishes off the co-ordinated look. This I beaded in the applique style using size 12 and 13 beads. The Eagle is done with Tri Cut beads. This is beaded on felt that has been stabilized with iron on interfacing.