Seasons Indian Clothing

Sometimes, the climate in the place where we live doesn’t change very much over the course of a year. Those of us in the southern part of the United States experience very little change in weather from one season to the next. The clothing we wear in June is pretty appropriate for wearing in January, too.

Those of us living in the northern portions of the country experience seasonal fluctuations in climate that call for a more varied wardrobe. We wear lightweight, cool clothing in the summer months and graduate to heavier, more protective, clothing during our cold winters.

With this geographic difference influencing the experience of the seasons, Indian clothing changed accordingly, too. It was a matter of survival.

Lifestyle differences played a role in traditional Indian clothing styles, too. In addition to the localized experience of seasons, Indian clothing needed to be suited to the way of life enjoyed in differing environments.

For example, those American Indians living in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains would have relied upon clothing made of fur and heavy leather in order to survive an extended, often harsh, winter. They would have been able to wear lighter clothing in the summertime but those mountains still get pretty nippy at night. Even in July.

A little further south, but not too terribly far south, the American Indians of the Southwest enjoyed hot, sunny days almost all year long. There are occasional periods of intense cold but the heat is a bigger factor in determining a wardrobe worn all year long.

It’s quite likely that in all seasons Indian clothing was made mostly from leather. Animals, and their hides for tanning, were available nationwide and leather is an excellent material for fashioning clothing. There&rsqu