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CLOTHING of the CREEKS

Early on, clothing was fashioned from animal skins., that of deer especially sought. Tattooing provided facial decoration; it was also utilized on arms and legs. Facial and body painting was popular. A wild flower still found today -- the bloodroot, a lovely white flower with a red stem and root--was used to make red paint; ashes might provide white.

As traders moved in by the 18th century, the Creeks combined skins with fabrics resulting in a remarkably exhuberant style of dress. Shoes were leather. Leggings and breechcloths might be of deerskins or wool. Blouses of colorful calico and silk were popular among all. Luxurious silk was also used for tunics ands shirts. Brocade or cotton waistcoats might be added. Multi-colored silks were tied as armbands, girdles, and belts. Turbans of cotton or silk were donned and embellished with feathers and beads. Coins were often worn as necklaces as were gorgets and medals -- often with the image of the President-- freely rewarded as tokens from government officials at treaty-signings. Ear ornaments of silver or copper were especially prized. Some Creeks still tattooed, as is evidenced in the picture of Yoholo-Micco at left. "The McKenney-Hall Portrait Gallery of American Indians" provides an excellent source for viewing these wonderful combinations.

Click here for a larger view of Yoholo-Micco, shown above painted by Charles Bird King, and accompanying text from The McKenney-Hall Portrait Gallery of American Indians"

The artist George Catlin has captured forever for us the image of the lovely Tchow-ee-put-o-kaw, a Creek of 1836. She wears a garment of fringed skins, aound her neck is a string of silver disks. Catlin made a note of her garb for its simplicity and contrast to the Creek mode of the day -- that of emulating European dress. Her dress refelects back to earlier days.


to Among The Creeks