Cover image for Encyclopedia of American Indian costume
Title:
Encyclopedia of American Indian costume
Author:
Paterek, Josephine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Norton, 1996.

©1994
Physical Description:
xiv, 516 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393313826
Format :
Book

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E98.C8 P37 1994C Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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E98.C8 P37 1994C Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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E98.C8 P37 1994C Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
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E98.C8 P37 1994C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Slipping away from us in these times of the homogenization of culture are the traditions of older societies, some of them dating from 9000 B.C., who understood and were in tune with the changing vistas of the North American continent. Practical, yet with an eye for beauty, these peoples clothed themselves in a vast array of styles that will be forgotten unless preserved. The Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume offers complete descriptions and cultural contexts of the dress and ornamentation of the many nations that have shared this continent. The book is divided into ten cultural regions, with each chapter giving an overview of the regional clothing. Tribal information includes men's and women's basic dress, footwear, outerwear, hair styles, headgear, accessories, jewelry, armor, special costumes, garment decoration, face and body embellishment, and transitional dress after European contact. This beautifully designed book contains more than 150 photographs and illustrations.
Voted an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice


Author Notes

Josephine Paterek is professor emeritus in the speech and theater department at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. She is the author of Costuming for the Theater.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Many nations share the North American continent; the diversities of clothing styles of Native Americans are documented in this book. Offering complete descriptions and the cultural context of the dress and ornamentation of these Americans, this authoritative book is accessible to everyone from the upper elementary student to adults. The book is divided into 10 cultural regions north of Mexico. Each region is described in a general manner. The tribes that inhabited the area are listed in a table at the beginning of the chapter, and those that are further described are followed by a page number. The description of the costume of each specific tribe is given in a consistent order, including men's basic, women's basic, footware, outer wear, hairstyles, headgear, accessories, jewelry, armor, special costumes, garment decoration, face and body embellishment, and masks. A final paragraph on transitional dress refers to how clothing changed after involvement with Europeans. Beyond the basic description, the author includes insight into the culture, natural materials, and societal influences that led to the diversity of costumes. More than 400 large black-and-white photographs, some of them by famous photographers such as Edward Curtis, and drawings and paintings by noted artists, such as Karl Bodmer and George Catlin, illustrate the entries. A list of key sources for the information follows each entry. Appendixes include a glossary and descriptions of the materials used in clothing and the techniques of their production, with line drawings of many articles. An extensive bibliography, divided by cultural region, is followed by a detailed index. The index lists not only tribes and pieces of clothing, but also such subjects as puberty customs and looms. Although technically a book on clothing, the Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume would serve well in the college, public, or school library for broader research on the many tribes listed. (Reviewed September 1, 1994)


Choice Review

This impressive reference work took ten years to write, and the waiting was well worth it. Nothing of this scope and magnitude on this subject has been done before. Paterek (emerita, speech and theater, Univ. of Wisconsin) focuses on traditional (non-European) and early transition materials of Native Americans and Inuits (the author chose to use the less-favored terms "American Indian" and "Eskimo" in this work). In addition to basic dress, the author describes footwear, hairstyles, accessories, armor, decoration, and masks. An introduction explains the organization and contents: North America is divided into ten cultural regions, and each section begins with a description of the area and an overview of the individual tribes in alphabetical order. An appendix on clothing arts is especially informative, giving details of the clothing and how it was constructed, with a section of diagrams. The 150 black-and-white illustrations are attractive and well chosen. The photographs come from a large number of museums. A glossary of terms, a comprehensive bibliography, and a detailed and accurate index complete this well-written work. Paterek's one other book, Costuming for the Theatre (1959), a handbook for amateur theatrical groups, is much used to this day. Highly recommended for all libraries. P. Brauch; Brooklyn College, CUNY