Hopi Pueblo Cotton Kilt with Embroidered Design [SOLD]


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Weaver Unknown

The [Hopi Pueblo] kilt is a cotton base with an embroidered design.  The embroidered terrace designs—black stepped designs outlined in white—represent the clouds;  the green yarn represents the earth,  and the red represents the sun. [Marshall, 1999:32]  A band of black about an inch wide is crocheted around the bottom of the kilt, with small black terraced shapes breaking into the white body at intervals above the lower border.  Cotton was identified in use at Hopi as early as 1582.  At Hopi and Zuni, it is traditional for the men to be the weavers of cotton.

“The most characteristic ceremonial garment is the kilt.  The forms and materials for this garment are numerous, but most frequently the kilt is of white homespun cotton cloth in a plain basket weave.  It is about fifty inches long and twenty inches wide; it is wrapped around the loins and held in place at the waist by a belt.  Generally made by the Hopi, the kilt is decorated by them with two embroidered panels symbolizing rain, clouds, and life—a characteristic design which always follows the same pattern, in black, green, and red.”  [Roediger, 1991:116]  

“The Hopi of today is the Pueblo ‘textile manufacturer.'' He is the master craftsman and trader.  From his villages on the three mesas overlooking the Painted Desert he carries on an extensive trade with the Zuni and the Rio Grande Pueblos, who depend upon him almost entirely for their native textiles.  In exchange for their turquoise, shell necklaces, and money he gives them dresses, robes, kilts, and belts, which they in turn ‘embellish with embroideries to their individual liking.” [ibid, 60]

Condition: the kilt shows evidence of having been worn.  There is body paint around the waist area and soiling here and there on the white fabric.

Provenance: this Hopi Pueblo Cotton Kilt with Embroidered Design is from the estate of the father of a client of ours


- Roediger, Virginia More. Ceremonial Costumes of the Pueblo Indians: Their Evolution, Fabrication, and Significance in the Prayer Drama, University of California Press.

- Marshall, Ann. Rain: Native Expressions from the American Southwest, Museum of New Mexico Press

Relative Links: Dance Paraphernalia, Hopi Pueblo

Close up view of a section of this Pueblo textile kilt.

Weaver Unknown
C4569ZR-textile.jpgC4569ZR-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.