The Costumes of the Americas Museum, located across from the zoo in Brownsville, opened a new exhibit in September that will run until September of 2014. The exhibit is called “Common Threads – Binding Cultures Together.” The exhibit examines clothes worn by indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere.
Several of the costumes represent Indian tribes of the United States such as Alabama Coushatta, Apache, Caddo Iroquois, Cheyenne, Navajo and Sioux tribes of North America.
One of the brightest is the ceremonial costume for an Apache maiden’s puberty rite, a ceremony that lasts four days. According to Apache legend, White Painted Woman taught this important ritual to the Apaches. For the ceremony the maiden is dressed in garments made of buckskin that have been painted yellow to represent the color of colleen. The dress is then decorated with beadwork and fringe that represent the moon, sun, stars and sunbeams.
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