Southern Women’s Cloth Dresses


Southern Women's Cloth Dresses

Ribbon work is stylized to identify the dancer’s tribe or family as associated to the southern woman’s cloth dress. Ribbon work itself is an old style of art that has evolved and has become more complex over the decades. The ribbon work for the southern woman’s dress is used to decorate many articles and areas. The hem of the skirt, the panel of the skirt, the drop that connects at the neck and hangs down to the hem of the skirt, as well as on the shawl all have embellishments of ribbon work. Tribes considered to be wood and in origin will have ribbon work that looks to be scrolling and denote memory of the natural world. Southern women dancers of the Delaware Tribe use a lot of complex geometric ribbon work, whereas the Lakota geometric is intriguing, but simpler then the Delaware. Sometimes colors are used to symbolize meaning and feelings that the tribe and the dancer believes in and shares.

Aside from the ribbon work, the outfit is finished off with the accessories. That includes headbands or crowns, purses, moccasins, chokers, hair ties, earrings, shawls and fans. Options to the list are a scarf, a half size woman’s style breastplate, as well as many silver pins. Depending on the reason associated with the tribe, a woman can also wear an eagle feather or plume in her hair as she dances. Many of the accessories will be beaded.

Once the dancer enters the arena, or dance area, her movements will be steady,When talking of southern women dancers at powwows, many times it is referring to the style of dance that can be seen from the tribes located in Oklahoma. she will be straight backed, with slightly exaggerated elbows for the shawl to move, and a bounce that is rhythmically connected to the drum. 

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