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 The Beauty and Symbolism of Native American Ribbon Skirts

Blog Introduction: Native American ribbon skirts; are a beautiful and significant piece of traditional clothing that have been passed down from generation to generation. These skirts not only showcase the craftsmanship of the indigenous people but also hold significant cultural symbolism that pays tribute to their history and traditions. In this blog post, we will explore the history and significance of ribbon skirts in Native American culture.

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The Origins of Ribbon Skirts

Ribbon skirts are a traditional form of dress that have been worn by Native American women for centuries. They were originally made of animal hides or woven fabrics, with added fringes of ribbon or yarn attached to the bottom. Their design makes it easy to dance, move and work freely, while also offering protection from cold weather. Ribbon skirts often feature bold and bright colors that represent the beauty of nature and the spirit of the community.

Symbolism of Ribbons and Colors

In many tribal communities, the colors and patterns on the ribbon skirts are symbolic, representing the elements of nature, ceremonies and social status. For example, the color red is often associated with the sacred power of life and creates a connection with Mother Earth and the community. Black is often used to symbolize mourning, while yellow represents the spirit of the sun. The patterns on the ribbon can also hold individual meanings based on the maker and tribe. Indigenous women create their own skirts, adorned with specific ribbons, patterns and colors that connect them to their community and personal spirituality.

Ribbon Skirts Today

Today, ribbon skirts are still a vibrant and significant part of Native American culture. Many indigenous women continue to wear them for ceremonies, pow wows, and other special occasions. The design has evolved, with modern fabrics and techniques, but the original spirit remains the same. Ribbon skirts continue to symbolize the strength, beauty, and community of the Native American people. They have also been a source of cultural pride, as young women are learning how to make these skirts from elder women, teaching them appreciation of their heritage, as well as the skills to maintain their traditions.

The Importance of Cultural Preservation

Ribbon skirts are an example of the importance of cultural preservation. It’s crucial for future generations to value and appreciate the traditions of their ancestors. The presence of ribbon skirts in today’s society allows people to recognize the historical and cultural significance of these skirts. It provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of the people who have come before, their struggles, and the ways they’ve maintained their culture despite centuries of oppression and discrimination.


In conclusion, Native American ribbon skirts are a beautiful and significant piece of traditional clothing that have endured and evolved through centuries. They are a crucial part of Native American culture, not just because they are beautiful but because of the symbolism, they represent. Each skirt is a unique representation of the owner’s history, spirituality, and community. Ribbon skirts are not only about fashion, but they also embody the strength, unity, and pride of the indigenous people who continue to honor and pass down these traditions.