As for women, native american hairstyles carry a much deeper meaning than just stylistic concern. Depending on the tribes, men are expressing through their hairstyles:
- religious beliefs, long hairs symbolize religious traditions. They are cut only for the mourning of a close relative
- power, the longer are the hair, the stronger and wiser the men are
- fighting skills, some hairstyles are only to be worn for fighting issues
This haircut was popular among the Iroquois and the Lenape from the east part of the United Sates. It consists of having one lock on the top of the head, the rest of the head remaing shaved. This style was worn uniquely by warriors.
Made of porcupine hairs, it is a typical headdress that was very popular for the tribes originated from the great Lakes and Missouri. The porcupine hairs were dyed with brilliant colors, most of the time red. This headdress was mostly the privilege of veteran fighters. See more here.
It is certainly the most iconic native american hairstyle. It consists on shaving both sides of the scalp and let a long central strip of hair. The hairy spike length can vary and can be colored with various types of dye. This hairstyle is not the exclusivity of native american and traces of this hairstyle date back to the first century in Dublin. Throughout the history, this style has been very popular among the warriors and soldiers. This style was widely adopted by the pawnee tribe (in Nebraska and Arkansas). It is still a popular hairstyle nowdays and has been adapted in many ways such as:
- Liberty spikes
- Psychobilli Mohawk
- Chelsea Hawk
- Lasy hawk
- Shark fin
The number of varieties is countless and many celebrities in sport and music industries have been wearing occasionally this styles. For more see here
Just like native american women, the long braids have been popular in the male indian american community. The Sioux, Navajo, Cherokee, Chippewa, Choctaw, Apache, Pueblo, Iroquois, Creek tribes have all a tradition of wearing long braids, in addition with pompadour sometimes. It symbolizes religious beliefs and power, as the longer the braids, the wiser and more powerful the men are.
As you can indians community enjoys a great diversity of hairstyles and it makes it very interesting to observe and study. Once more it highlights the fact that hairstyles are a very important cultural issue that we tend to forget in our current globalized world.