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Men's Shirt

What is the most commonly seen article of patchwork for men is the big shirt. Like most men’s shirt, this item is tucked in or worn untucked, short-sleeved, and with or without a collar – all at the wearer’s preference. There are two usual differences: the shirt is usually of a loose cut and, of course, it has patchwork. The usual patchwork is a design across the chest supported with strips of color and/or ric-rac. Sometimes the sleeves will have the matching design.

The early men’s shirts were primarily unadorned or showed an applique design at the collar/chest area and the cuffs. This was what could be seen when the Seminole wore his long coat, commonly called a Medicine Man Coat. The coat, as mentioned previously, was highly decorative, so the men’s long shirt did not need to compete. It was also the everyday wear for Seminole men, so sturdiness was more important that the decorative qualities of the Medicine Man coat, that was only worn during special occasions.

NOTE: There is no tradition for men’s patchwork pants. As with many southeastern Native American cultures during the early years of European contact, pants were rare. For the Seminole men, a long shirt sufficed for a daily outfit. Along with the Medicine Man coat, felt garters were used for special occasions and leather garters were for protection from saw palmetto during hunting. Only as the Florida Seminoles spent increasing amounts of time with non-Seminoles did men adopt pants.

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