Traditional Native American dress has given way to mainstream fashion. The erosion of traditional tribal dress began soon after colonization, when colonists traded their “decent” clothing to the indigenous peoples. Fashions blended, times changed, and now traditional tribal dress is usually reserved for ceremonial occasions or the tourist trade.
Now a mainstay of the wardrobe of every American and Native American t shirts have become a way of life for so many of us.
There was a time when anyone wearing a t shirt did so as an undergarment. These soft, comfortable shirts were not considered appropriate for public view and were only visible when worn within the confines of one’s own home.
Those times have certainly changed, too.
Nowadays, t shirts are a fashion staple and everyone wears them. Some people even wear them as undergarments.
Today’s t shirts come in a rainbow of colors, often with vivid designs, slogans, and logos emblazoned across front and back. Or both.
It was in the 1970s that rock-and-roll bands started featuring their band names and logos on t shirts that they sold at concerts that the t shirt became high fashion. There was absolutely nothing more cool than wearing a shirt that was purchased at the concerts of the hottest bands on tour.
The concept of clothing as billboard spread like wildfire and soon t shirts became political statements, amusement, and commentary. Schools and universities, entertainers, events all use t shirts to broadcast their message.
Native American t shirts feature tribal symbols, slogans, and scenes depicting the traditional way of life. Tourists collect them to document vacations. Native Americans wear them to publicize events and issues.
Sometimes people even wear t shirts with no words, emblems, cartoons, or pictures on them. Sometimes its OK to have no message to convey. Some of us even wear them just because they are so darn comfortable.