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>Costume Studies
>>1839 Seminole tastenagi

Subject: tastenagi warrior chief
Culture: Seminole
Setting: American-Seminole Wars, Florida 1816-1858





Context

*


Headdress

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

Costume

* 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."


Jewelry

* 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."


Footwear

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