Living off what was available in their natural surroundings, theHaudenosaunee made clothing from woven natural fibers, hides from elk or deer, and furs from woodland animals like rabbits or bears. Even corn husks could me used to make moccasins.
The deer was one of the most important animals for the Haudenosaunee nations as every part was used. Its meat provided nourishment, its hides were used for clothing, the sinew was used for thread and its bones were used as tools or ornaments. Hides were tanned and stretched into soft leather before being used for clothing or footwear. This was done by soaking the skins for several days before loosening any fur and drying it. Smoking the skins produced a different colour and made the hides water resistant.
Men and women added embellishments to their clothing using wooden beads, feathers and porcupine quills. These embellishments could be symbols of clans or artistic expressions of the creation story. Deer hooves were also used on dancer regalia to create a jingling garter. Once Europeans began to settle in North America other fibers and decorations were introduced and women began to make clothing out of broadcloth. The Haudenosaunee people also began to replace the wooden beads with glass ones and used more synthetic fibers. While the materials changed the styles remained the same.
By 1900s most Haudenosaunee families were wearing the same clothing as the settlers opting for suits over breechcloths and leggings. As the styles changed throughout the century the Haudenosaunee adopted jeans and t-shirts common on most people today. To this day however most nations still wear traditional clothing to long house ceremonies or special events.