The Indian headdress is a beautiful work of art. The Sioux Indians created what is today associated with the idea of a traditional Indian headdress. There are the feathered headdress commonly depicted on warriors and Indian chiefs in paintings and other artworks.
Before the invasion of their land by the white man, the custom of wearing an Indian headdress varied from tribe to tribe. Each headdress type represented the culture of each tribe. Within the tribe, an individual chief or warrior would traditionally customize their Indian headdresses, making it unique to that particular warrior or Indian chief.
We generally associate the Indian headdress with feathers. However, the majority of the Indian tribes throughout North American did not wear feather headdresses at all. Because they are so stunning in appearance, though, these Indian headdresses are the type of war bonnet, or Indian chief headdress which have come to represent native Americans of old, simply because art tends to focus on items that have visual appeal – items that stand out. The ornate feather headdresses which a few of the Indian tribes traditionally wore certainly have that visual appeal.
So although these headdresses, or war bonnets, are the best-known type of Indian headdress today, they were actually originally only worn by approximately a dozen Indian tribes in the Great Plains region, including the Sioux, Crow, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Plains Cree Indians. They were important ceremonial regalia worn only by chiefs and warriors, and not often in war. War bonnets were more often the “roach headdresses” – less often seen in artworks.