One of the proudest and most historical national Indian tribes we have in the Northeast is the Mohawk people. These are one of the five sister tribes from the Northeast; all of the united tribes are known as the Iroquois. The Iroquois formed an alliance which remained intact for two hundred years, and during that time these sister nations ruled the area east of the Great Lakes. What makes the Mohawk culture and dress so interesting is the fact that their language, religion, and society was truly unique among Indian nations.
Today those who are of Mohawk heritage knows of their unique and wonderful history, and are proud to lay claim to being a part of such a nation. Even people that are not of Mohawk heritage are proud of this great nation and would like to know more about their traditions, values and dress. So, here we will go into how to make Mohawk Indian clothing.
What you will need:
- Sewing machine
- Needle and thread
- Wool, broadcloth, or calico
- Colored border cloth
- Tailo'rs marker
Choose the material you want. Most Mohawks wore broadcloth, calico, or wool but the easiest to fashion wear from is calico. If you really want to go for authenticity, then you can use deer hide or skin, but this is much harder to sew and you will have to do much of it by hand.
Create or select a pattern. Many sewing stores have Mohawk patterns available, or you can look online. The pattern you choose will depend on your age, and whether this outfit is for a female or a male. The woman's Mohawk outfit was an ankle length skirt and a very long tunic with knee-length leggings and moccasins. Men wore leggings and a breechclout with a large overshirt with a sort of cape tied around the throat.
You will then need to measure the body of the person for whom the clothing is intended. Be sure to measure legs, inseam, arms, chest, and neck and then write all the measurements down.
Once that is done you will need to draw the pattern onto the material and cut the material to the measurement. Be sure to cut a little on the big side so if you make a mistake it's bigger rather than smaller, and you'll still have room to work with the material.
Your next step is to sew the pieces together. If you are sewing normal material you can use a sewing machine but if you decide to use leather then you will need an awl so you can punch holes in the hide.
When you finish sewing your Mohawk costume, you'll want to decorate it as they did for special occasions. You can use beads to decorate the clothing. Look for samples of Mohawk decorations in historical books or online.