Clothing

Prior to contact with Europeans, the Oneida used natural materials for their clothing such as deer and other hides which were found in their natural environment. With the arrival of Europeans came access to such trade items as calico cotton and broadcloth. This fabric has become a mainstay in the construction of the garment ever since, although the basic design of the Iroquoian outfit remains the same as its been for hundreds of years.

Headwear: The women’s headband is intricately beaded and is worn much like a tiara. The design is beaded on to velvet or wool to which a stiffening layer is added before sewing on the leather backing. The beadwork designs are typical woodlands designs of vines, leaves and flowers; and skyworld and clan symbols.The men wear a kastoweh or feathered hat. The frame of a kastoweh is made from black ash splints which is then covered with deer skin, felt or cloth. Turkey and grouse feathers cover the dome and eagle feathers are used to signify the tribe. Oneidas wear two feathers up and one down on their kastowa. The headband is sometimes decorated with silver or copper bands etched with designwork; porcupine quills and beads.

Of course, today everyone wears tshirt and jeans forĀ everyday activities and save their outfits for special occasions such as ceremonies and socials.