Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1778 Nootka warrior
Subject: warrior
Culture: Nootka-Makah / Nuu-chah-nulth
Setting: tribal warfare, Northwest Coast late 18th-19thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)




* Paterek 1994 p319
"Chiefs wore armor of double layers of elk skin, occasionally strengthened by wooden rods sewn to the outside; these were often painted.  Although elk hide seems to have been the most common form of armor, some examples of Nootka armor have been preserved that are of the 'slat-and-rod' type.  Warriors painted their faces black.  No helmets were used."

Basic Costume 

* Paterek 1994 p317
"Men usually went naked.  In cooler weather they donned a tunic of woven cedar bark, worn under one arm and fastened on the opposite shoulder.  Another type of garment was a rectangular mat or robe of cedar bark that was wrapped around the hips and held in place with a belt.  Both items of dress were edged with white fur, or if the individual was wealthy, strips of sea-otter fur."


* Taylor 2001 p16-17
"[E]laborate wooden clubs were developed by the Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Nootka and Kwakiutl.   Exhibiting carvings which not infrequently made reference to tribal mythology, such clubs were more used in the ceremonial context rather than on the battlefield and some were referred to as 'slave killers' (although there is little evidence to suggest that they actually performed that function).
"For everyday use -- in both hunting and warfare -- clubs were often spatula-shaped and made of either hard wood or carved whalebone, which was generally sharpened along the edge and sometimes embellished with carvings on the blade and handle.  These clubs were similar in shape -- although smaller -- to the paddles used by the Northwest Coast tribes."