Womens' Cloth is a formal dress of the pow wow. The dress originated from a constant intertwining of the white and Native American cultures as the settlers crossed the plains. At times when families would go West to settle, they would be forced to dump things that were not needed or were too heavy to be taken along. These things were then found by passing Indians who would take and use them. European cloth was one of these luxuries. The style of dance is slow and graceful and yet bold and proud; it is one imitating nature becoming tall grass blowing in a breeze, their feet barely touching the ground as though their heels where kissed by the wind.
Depending on the tribe, Ladies Cloth can look very different. This is but a brief description of the style as depicted in the South, we hope it will be useful in your tour of dance styles. Beginning at the feet, knee high boot moccasins are worn. They are sometimes beaded although it is not mandatory. Next over any full slip, a tee-dress is worn. This dress can be made out of any fabric suitable to one’s region and or climate. Next, an apron is put on. It is a piece of cloth that wraps around the waist and overlaps to the left. A leather concho belt is worn over the apron to keep it in place. Over the shoulders, a breast plate is secured by ribbons . Around the neck, a neckerchief is worn although it and the choker are both optional. The lady’s hair may be worn in any number of styles from loose and flowing to up in two tight French braids. Jewelry is not mandatory although it gives a nice effect of completeness to the outfit .