Where can I find information on cattail matting?

Where can I find information on cattail matting?

Hey thanks for the question…I had to look this one up, as I’m from the Southwest and hadn’t heard of this before. I’m always happy to learn something new!

So from what I could find, it seems that Cattail Matting refers to a mat sewn together from cattails and other plant materials. The mats were used to create an exterior covering for wigwams, most generally seen from Northeast tribes. They are generally 5’ x 10’ wide and it takes about 6 to cover an entire wigwam.

There is a great instruction guide on how to make these mats on: http://www.nativetech.org/cattail/matting.htm

There wasn’t a whole lot of information I could find, aside from what I mentioned earlier, so if there are any folks out there who would like to share their knowledge on cattail matting, please post a comment below.

Also, how great would it be if someone made a cattail mat and videotaped their process? Then we could put it up on the website and share with everyone. We’d even send you some free We R Native gear!

I could also see this being a really great community service project, if some groups were interested in creating their own traditional housing. This is a great way to stay healthy together… it could be a great summer project! If you’re interested in applying for a community service mini-grant, check out: My Impact. Get in touch with us and we can help you get organized. Contact Tommy Ghost Dog at [email protected]


Thanks for the question!

Auntie Manda