Ceremonial Dress

The clothes for ceremonial activities were colorful and carefully sewn by hand. The origin and date of adoption of this distinctive dress is not certain but id similar to the traditional peasant dress in France in the early 1800's. The handmade dress has a full sleeve and flowing skirt with ruffles requiring up to six yards of colorful cotton material. The Choctaw dress of today is usually of solid color yellow, red, blue or green with contrasting color. The decoration symbolizes the mountain and valleys with a path or trail beside them. The circle and cross symbolizes the sun and the stars.

A decorative white apron with contrasting trim and ruffles is an integral part of the Choctaw woman's dress. It is decorative as well as functional. The material status of the woman's dress is opened at the front for accessibility to nourishment for infants.

Ornaments worn with the dress for special occasions include a beaded decorative comb on the crown of the head. Other beaded decorations include earrings, medallion, collar necklace in a diamond lace design, and shoulder necklace. Multi-color of ribbons are normally worn at the back as decorations while performing "Choctaw social dance". A white handkerchief is worn at the neckline and moccasins complete the ensemble look.

Ceremonial Shirt

The man's shirt is made from cotton material and the decoration is similar to those sewn on the woman's dress. The colorful shirt is worn with a ribboned felt hat.

Ornaments worn with the shirt include beaded belt with multicolor of ribbon worn from the waist on one side only, a beaded tie and sash featuring design native to the Choctaws.

Moccasins complete the ensemble look for the men.

Source: Permission to use by the Choctaw Nation