Hi Auntie Manda and Uncle Paige, both my husband and I are Native and work in the helping field with Indigenous communities. We wanted to create a presentation piece that can be presented to our volunteers for going above and beyond. I know the teachings of the ribbon skirt but I’m not familiar with teachings of the ribbon shirt. Can you share a teaching that we can offer to go with our presentation piece? Miigwetch, Niawen, Marsii and Thank you. Sharon

Hi Sharon!

Thanks for writing in! I love this idea! What a beautiful representation of your appreciation.

I had to check with a couple of my friends who make ribbon skirts and shirts.

My friend Ryan shared this really cool article from the Milwaukee Public Museum, which talks more about the beginning history, as far as how styles changed after the settlers came and the increased access to silk ribbon when ribbons went out of style in Europe after the French Revolution. I guess my grandma was right about ‘one person’s trash being another person’s treasure’! Ha.

Although, the Great Lakes tribes were the epicenter of ribbonwork, it moved to the tribal plains, prairies, and NE tribes where women started creating real fancy unique patterns and it caught on not only as fashion but a distinctive native attire and keeps growing.

Now, ribbonwork is all about celebrating our individuality and symbolizes empowerment and is a universal symbol of resistance, land, and water protection as well as a symbol of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/ Relatives (MMIW/R).

Folks are wearing ribbonwork as a sign of respect, using certain family and tribal colors for ceremony, fashion, and distinction to who we are.

I hope this helps!

Take care,

Auntie Manda

Find Us

Follow Us

Enter Phone Number to Subscribe:

Msg & Data Rates May Apply.
Text STOP to opt out. No purchase necessary.
Expect 4 msgs/mo.Terms and Conditions