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Headdresses

Headdresses

The tall, feathered headdress has come to be one of the most recognizable symbols of the Native American people of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Books and movies about Indians often picture them wearing the large feathered headdresses that white people called "war bonnets," and many children around the world have toy versions of the feathered headdress that they use to "play Indian." In reality there were hundreds of Indian nations throughout the Americas and only a few tribes who lived in the western plains of the United States wore that type of elaborate headdress. The feathered headdress, once a badge of honor and power, has become a stereotype of all Indians.

Many Native American people wore some kind of decorative headdress. These headdresses were usually only worn for special ceremonies. The right to wear a headdress had to be earned, and the type of headdress showed the rank of the wearer. Chiefs and high-ranking warriors might wear a special headdress, as might the medicine healer of the tribe. Though most headdresses were worn by men, some women wore them as well. Headdresses were usually made from the fur and feathers of especially sacred animals and were thought to give the power of the animals to the person wearing the headdress. The Iroquois who lived around northern New York wore a kind of flat hat that was covered with feathers, while their neighbors the Algonquin wore only one feather, which either stood up or hung down from the top of the head. The Mohegada of New England wore two feathers in their headdress, and the Nootka and Haida people of the Pacific Northwest wore carved wooden headdresses or hats woven out of grasses, spruce tree roots, and cedar bark.

The widely recognized headdress of the Plains Indians was usually made of eagle feathers, sometimes with the fur and horns of the buffalo, which were so important to the survival of the tribe. Feathers and fur were attached to a leather band that was decorated with beads in sacred shapes and designs. Even among the Indians of the plains, styles of headdress varied from tribe to tribe. The eagle feathers stood straight up on the headdresses worn by the Blackfoot tribe, while the Crow headdresses lay flatter along the top of the head. The Sioux wore the biggest and most colorful headdresses with geometric designs beaded into the headband.

The tall headdresses may have become so strongly identified with all Indian people because of "Wild West" shows, such as the one produced by the famous Buffalo Bill Cody (18461917). These shows, which were popular in the United States and Europe during the late 1800s and early 1900s, featured real Indians who were dressed in elaborate colorful costumes and performed ceremonial dances and feats of marksmanship and horsemanship. To many people, these theatrical Indians became the symbol of the "real" Indian, even though they only represented a small part of the Native American population and way of life.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

The Plains Indian War Bonnet: History and Construction. Tulsa, OK: Full Circle Communications, Inc., 1998.

Zenk, Henry B. Handbook of North American Indians. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1990.

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"Headdresses." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Headdresses." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/headdresses-0

"Headdresses." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/headdresses-0

Headdresses

Headdresses

Egyptian aristocrats and pharaohs, or emperors, wore a wide variety of headdresses. Egyptians often wore wigs to protect themselves from the heat of the climate, and they likely wore headdresses for the same reason. Many of the headdresses depicted in the hieroglyphics, or picture drawings, found in Egyptian tombs indicate that headdresses also had a ceremonial purpose. The pschent, worn by the pharaoh to symbolize his or her power over all of Egypt, was the most famous headdress, but there were many others.

One of the most common forms of headdress was the nemes headcloth. This stiff linen headdress covered the head and most often had flaps that hung down the sides and over the shoulders. The nemes headcloth was often full of bright colors. It put a frame around the face and is famous as the type of headdress worn by King Tutankhamen, who ruled Egypt in the fourteenth century b.c.e. and whose gold casket was discovered in 1922 and has been displayed around the world. Another common headdress was the simple headband. Made of linen or perhaps even of leather inlaid with gold, the main purpose of this headdress was to hold the wearer's wig in place.

Pharaohs are also depicted wearing a headdress known as the Blue Crown, or khepresh. This tall crown was likely made of stiff linen or leather and spread up and back from the forehead six to eight inches. It was blue, covered in small circular studs, and often had a carved uraeus, a sacred hooded cobra ornament, on the front and two long streamers hanging down the back. A famous crown was also worn by Queen Nefertiti, who ruled briefly around 1330 b.c.e. This blue, cone-shaped hat tapered down and covered her skull. It was banded with a decorative stripe and had a menacing uraeus at its front.

Many other forms of headdress have been found, most of which were associated with the various pharaohs who ruled Egypt over its long history. These headdresses often had ornaments with symbolic meanings, such as ostrich feathers to honor Osiris, the god of the underworld, or ram horns to honor Khnum, the god who created life.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Balkwill, Richard. Clothes and Crafts in Ancient Egypt. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens, 2000.

Cosgrave, Bronwyn. The Complete History of Costume and Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day. New York: Checkmark Books, 2000.

"Royal Crowns." Egyptology Online. http://www.egyptologyonline.com/pharaoh's_crowns.htm (accessed on July 24, 2003).

Watson, Philip J. Costume of Ancient Egypt. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.

[See also Volume 1, Ancient Egypt: Pschent ]

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"Headdresses." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Headdresses." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/headdresses

"Headdresses." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/headdresses

Coif

Coif

Worn by women, men, and children throughout the Middle Ages (c. 500c. 1500), the coif was a simple fabric cap that covered all or most of the hair and tied under the chin. Coifs could be worn under another hat for extra warmth, but they were frequently worn alone. They were usually made of plain linen or wool, although soldiers often wore a coif made of chain mail (flexible armor made of intertwining metal chains) under their helmets. Coifs were most often black or white, and some had embroidered designs.

Coifs first appeared as common European headgear during the 900s, and they were widely worn until the 1700s. Before 1500, a simple two-piece coif was popular, with a seam down the middle of the head. After 1500, a more tailored three-piece coif was fashionable, with two seams allowing it to fit the head more closely. Rich and poor alike wore the caps, which provided warmth and modesty. Many priests and monks wore simple linen coifs, and travelers wore them under felt caps. Married women wore coifs alone or under veils to cover their heads for modesty.

By the beginning of the Renaissance around 1450, many different shapes of coifs had been developed. Most of these were worn by women, and the shape and size of the coif could be used to show the wealth and class of the wearer. English women wore coifs that came to one or several points at the top, while French and Flemish women commonly wore round coifs that sat on top of the head and tied under the chin.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Black, J. Anderson, and Madge Garland. A History of Fashion. Revised by Frances Kennett. New York: William Morrow, 1980.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Yarwood, Doreen. Fashion in the Western World: 15001900. New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1992.

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"Coif." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/coif

"Coif." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/coif

headdress

headdress, head covering or decoration, protective or ceremonial, which has been an important part of costume since ancient times. Its style is governed in general by climate, available materials, religion or superstition, and the dictates of fashion. The most primitive form consisted of varied styles of hairdressing. Protective head coverings include the hat, cap, hood, helmet, wig, and veil. Ceremonial headdress, which is often highly symbolic and steeped in tradition, includes all head coverings and headdressings that indicate rank, profession, or religion, as well as those worn in ritualistic ceremonies, games, and contests. Examples are the feathered war bonnet of the Native American, the peacock feathers of the Manchu, the Eastern turban, the Turkish fez, the cardinal's hat, the nun's coif and veil, the marriage crowns, the judge's wig, the academic cap (mortarboard), and many others.

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coif

coif • n. 1. / koif/ a woman's close-fitting cap, now only worn under a veil by nuns. ∎  hist. a protective metal skullcap worn under armor. 2. / kwäf; koif/ inf. short for coiffure. • v. / kwäf; koif/ (coiffed, coif·fing; also coifed , coif·ing ) [tr.] style or arrange (someone's hair), typically in an elaborate way: [as adj.] (coiffed) elaborately coiffed hair. ∎  style or arrange the hair of (someone).

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"coif." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"coif." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coif-0

headdress

head·dress / ˈhedˌdres/ • n. an ornamental covering or band for the head, esp. one worn on ceremonial occasions.

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coif

coif close-fitting cap. XIV. — OF. coife (mod. coiffe) head-dress :- late L. cofia helmet.

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"coif." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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coif

coifbarf, behalf, calf, chaff, coif, giraffe, Graf, graph, half, laugh, scarf, scrum half, staff, strafe, wing half •headscarf • mooncalf • bar graph •telegraph • polygraph • epigraph •serigraph • cardiograph • radiograph •spectrograph • micrograph •lithograph • heliograph •choreograph • tachograph •stylograph • holograph • seismograph •chronograph, monograph •phonograph • paragraph •cinematograph • pictograph •autograph • photograph • flagstaff •jackstaff • distaff • tipstaff • epitaph •pikestaff • cenotaph •coif, Cruyff

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"coif." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"coif." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coif

headdress

headdressacquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, compress, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, excess, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, guess, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, ness, noblesse, obsess, oppress, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, profess, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes •Jewess • shepherdess • Borges •battledress • Mudéjares • headdress •protectress • egress • ingress •minidress • nightdress • congress •sundress • procuress • murderess •letterpress • watercress • shirtdress •access

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"headdress." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/headdress