Native American Indians - not all braids are alike

The Native American people used a variety of different hairstyles, even within the same tribe. For instance in the Navajo tribe men and women wore their hair in different ways depending on the event. However braids were a popular option in some tribes and appealed to both men and women. There were even some who used a ribbon in those braids, with the ribbon holding special meaning.

Braids were highly popular with women in the Cayuse tribe. They typically parted their hair right down the middle, with the braids hanging on either side of the head. The braid itself didn't start until right at the bottom of the ear and was topped with a small decoration. Another decoration placed at the bottom held the braid closed, but occasionally they left the braid open or tied it with a small ribbon. Hopi women sometimes used the same look, only with the braids wrapped around and secured in a bun on either side of the head. Women in these tribes also used a single braid that hung straight down the back.

Resources on Native American braids include:

  • Native American Hairstyles : discusses the different styles of hair used by the Native American people.
  • Braided Hairstyles : focuses on the braided styles once worn by Native Americans.
  • History of Hair : offers a short history on hair, including a discussion of Native American hair.
  • Braid Hair Styles : shows different types of braided hairstyles including the Native American variations.
  • Hairstyles Women : provides a short look at how Native American women wore their hair with braids.

This type of hairstyle was popular with males in the Crow tribe. It was also found in the Pueblo tribe, though these men topped their hair with a headband. In the Sioux and Blackfoot tribes, both sexes wore braided hairstyles, with or without a headband. The use of ribbons typically signified a special event or occasion and some tribes used ribbons as a way of signaling single females in the tribe. These hairstyles are often used by tribes today and many associate them with Native American tribes.

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