Traditional mi’kmaq clothing was made from the skins of mammals, birds, and fish.. The clothe they
wore things like fur robes, breechcloths, and moccasins. Mi’kmaq clothing wasdecorated with
geometric patterns and designs of bir, animals and humans. (hey used
porcupine duills to sew designs)
Breechcloths (or loincloths)is a long rectangular piece of tamed deerskin,cloth, or animal fur. It is worn
between the legs and tucked over a belt, so that the flaps fall down in front and behind. Men wore the
breechcloth outside and women wore them inside. Breechclothleave the legs
bare, so Mi’kmaq often wore leggings to protect their legs. Sometimes they were fringed or painted with
colorful patterns decorated with beadwork or quillwork designs.
Buckskinleggings, made from a single piece of leather with outside fringed seams, were also held up by the waist strap. The leggings were worn in cooler weather, and also for protection against brambles andunderbrush. Even the women wore these leggings on occasion.
For colder weather, cloaks were made from the brain-tanned hides of moose, beaver, marten, bear, and seal. These were wrapped over the shouldersand interlaced with leather strips under the chin, or worn over one shoulder and under the opposite arm if more freedom was required.
The moccasins were made from old moosehide robes, now morepliable and moisture-resistant with added grease.
For special occasions like weddings and feasts, more elaborate garments were worn. Robes of white moose hide decorated in various ways were common.According to the whim of the designer, two inch strips of ornamented leather appeared in vertical or horizontal patterns or both. Colors were obtained from red and yellow ochre, white from powdered orburned shell, black either from bog manganese or charcoal, and many other colors were obtained from various plant-based dyes.
For different feasts, ceremonies, and rites, the Mi'kmaq man painted his...