Q:

What kind of clothing did the Delaware Indians traditionally wear?

A:

Quick Answer

Delaware Indian women traditionally wore knee- or calf-length wrap-around dresses or skirts. Men wore tanned pieces of deerskin, cloth or fur called breechcloths. Also called breechclout, skin clout or flap, this material was worn between the legs and hung over a belt to cover the man’s front and back side.

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Full Answer

Sometimes, they wore their breechcloths with a decorative apron, which attached to the material hanging over the front and back of the belt. Women and teenage girls sometimes wore breechcloths under their dresses or skirts. Young children of both genders wore breechcloths. Leggings worn by Delaware men were made of soft leather, such as buckskin, and were not sewn together. Each individual legging was tied to the belt holding the breechcloth.

In winter women wore fur robes or a mantle of turkey feathers, while men wore leggings, robes and deerskin mantles. Men and women wore deerskin moccasins as shoes. During colonial times, the Delaware Indians adopted some European clothing styles, such as shirts and jackets, which they decorated with beadwork. Sometimes, Delaware attire was accessorized with necklaces, bracelets and anklets made of bone or shell.

Also known as Lenape, Delaware Indians often wear traditional clothing as part of tribal celebrations.

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