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Woman's Dress

Woman's Dress

c. 1880-1885

Tapestry weave: wool (handspun and bayeta)

Overall: 145 x 99 cm (57 1/16 x 39 in.)

Educational Purchase Fund 1929.921

Description

In the late 1700s, Diné (Navajo) women's wear changed from a one-piece garment to a dress fashioned from two matching panels attached on the sides and shoulders. Originally gathered at the waist with a woven belt, the dresses also could be cinched with silver concha belts of Diné manufacture. After the 1880s, women reserved such dresses for special occasions; everyday wear comprised full skirts and blouses. By about 1900, European-style garments had completely replaced the native dress, which today sees only occasionsl use during girls' initiation ceremonies.

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