In 1952, Arthur A. Callister began trading wool with his father in a little shop on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noticing how many customers were in need of quality tack to outfit themselves and their horses, AA Callister's Western Wear and Tack was born! Over 50 years and many satisfied customers we are still a family owned tack shop still located on the original site. We are proud to represent the traditions and lifestyles that made the West famous. We are also proud to feature some of the finest tack, clothing, and equipment made. Come live part of the American West today!

Friday, April 9, 2010

American Indian Clothing

Before the white man came, Native American western wear consisted mainly of animal hides. Native American Indian men wore leggings or a loincloth, seldom adding a shirt. Women wore leggings, a skirt, or a one piece dress - depending on which tribe they belonged to.

American Indians used paint as decoration on clothing and on the body, and indicated what tribe they belonged to. Specialized war and ceremonial clothing also varied by tribe. The amount of clothing worn depended largely on weather.

Traditional winter western wear consisted mainly of clothing made from furs for added warmth. Indians of all tribes wore moccasins. The biggest difference between the tribes was in their headdresses and ceremonial clothing.
Clothing adornments differed according to tribe. The Crow liked to use elk's eye teeth, either natural or carved from bone. The teeth represented longevity since they remain long after the rest of the carcass has decayed.

In Idaho the Blackfoot tribe used natural colorings in their clothing. Their western wear emphasized the beauty found in nature. They emphasized the natural beauty of leather and combined colors that blended well together.

As tribes came into closer contact with one another, they began borrowing each others tribal dress. Fringed buckskin clothing, headdresses and woven blankets soon became widely used by all tribes. Indian women also began adding beads, embroidery and other decorations to embellish their clothing.

With the increased availability of cloth, western wear for Indians included cloth skirts, dresses and shirts. "Indian cloth" had white edges that hadn't been dyed during manufacturing. The American Indians used these edges a part of their design along the edges of sleeves and the hems of skirts.

It is still possible to buy and purchase traditional American Indian western wear. It is mainly used for ceremonial purposes. Preserving the American Indian's dress also helps preserve their heritage.

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