Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1839 Seminole tastenagi

Subjecttastenagi warrior chief
Culture: Seminole 
Setting: American-Seminole wars, Florida 1816-1858

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

* Johnson/Hook 1995 p


* Paterek 1994 p30
"[W]oven palm-leaf hats were worn.  The most common headdress was a crown of feathers." [reference omitted]

* Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology > Change and Continuity - Hall of the North American Indian
"Turban (Seminole)  Southeastern Indian men seldom wore anything on their heads. Individuals of high rank, however, wore elaborate head gear on ceremonial occasions. In late prehistoric times such men wore bird or animal skins wrapped around their heads. This may have been the forerunner of the cloth-wrapped turbans which appear in pictures of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, but the connection is not definite. A Seminole turban was made by folding and wrapping a commercial woolen shawl. Silver bands and feathers were added embellishments."


* Paterek 1994 p30
"For information on dress during the first of these periods [during and after the Seminole Wars], we gain much knowledge from the great McKenney-Hall portfolio of Indian portraits.  Ten of them are Seminole leaders.  These men wear the turban with feathers of plumes, so popular during the first half of the nineteenth century; some have a metal band around the bottom of the turban.  Most of these men have a beaded strap over one shoulder that holds a pouch at the side; the straps are beaded in geometric designs featuring triangles and zigzags especially.  They wear one or more crescent-shaped silver gorgets, chased with elegance, and most wear a peace medal on a thong or ribbon, presented to them by the U.S. government.  They seem to have adopted the shirt as worn by their white contemporaries, either with the stand-up collar and cravat or the more casual 'Lord Byron' style.  The shirts are belted in with a bright-colored sash.  Three of the ten men have moustaches.
    "Two of the portraits are full-length and show the rather unusual but typical male Seminole garment -- the skirt, really a dress, which reaches to the knees and is quite full.  It is difficult to tell where this style came from; probably it was a form of the white man's shirt belted in.  The leggings of these two seem to have been developed from the swamp moccasin, but are higher, more fittted, and have buttons or similar ornaments up the front. the moccasins have the typical puckered toe."

* Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology > Change and Continuity - Hall of the North American Indian
"Man's Outfit (Seminole)  ... The long shirt was worn over the plain shirt, with the front open, and constituted the standard Seminole man's attire of the nineteenth century. But the style is not indigenous. It was influenced strongly by European dress and was adopted by many Eastern Indians. Hand-sewn appliqué designs were typical throughout the nineteenth century. They were replaced by cut- and sewn-patchwork designs around 1910." ...


* Paterek 1994 p30
"Because little clothing was necessary, ornamentation was extensive.  These Indians delighted in pearl and copper beads.  Amber was found here in greated quantity than almost anywhere on the continent and was used for beads.  Beads were also made from fish bones and animal bones. Gold and silver ornaments were treasured, not from native metals but as loot from Spanish ships bound from Panama through the Florida straits where they foundered.  Many wore rather large bones as earrings.  Shell gorgets were also popular."


* Fashion, costume, and culture volume 2 2004 p382
"The men of some tribes, such as the Seminole of the Southeast, covered their bodies in tattoos.  Seminole boys received their first tattoo when they were given their first name and earned more tattoos as they learned the art of war.  By the time a Seminole man reached old age, he could be covered from head to toe with tattoos."


* Paterek 1994 p28
"The Seminoles went barefoot at almost all times; the men may have worn the swamp moccasin."

​* Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology > Change and Continuity - Hall of the North American Indian
"Mocassins (Seminole)  The Seminole usually preferred to go barefoot, but they did make very a characteristic soft-soled, tanned deerskin moccasin with a 'pucker-toe.'"