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Bucket List: Coffee Table Book

Posted on 07 April 2011

[caption id="attachment_10319" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="My vintage bandana collection"][/caption]

In my last post I showcased the Bandana Buckaroo tee and featured a cabinet card of a cowboy dressed smartly in western attire.  While working on that post and digging through all of my vintage images  I realized the cotton bandana was not restricted to the American cowboy or to utility wear.  It seems Native Americans used the cheaply printed cloth just as much or more - but definitely in very creative ways. Going through my pictures I can see the printed square used for:
  • head wraps,
  • shawls and shoulder wraps,
  • neckerchiefs and cravats,
  • and even as lightweight blankets on baby's cradle boards (the ones in the family photo appear to displayed proud and boldly)
One fierce character even used his bandana as a jaunty eye patch. . . I find this so interesting.  When you Google "bandana history" the general results are:
BANDANA - During long cattle drives or roundups, the cowboys needed a way to keep all the dust and dried grass from getting into their nose, mouth and throat. Hence, the bandana came about. The bad guys took opportunity of the bandana and also used it to cover their face when doing their dirty tactics.
I am surprised to find nothing covering the history of the bandana as it relates to the American Indian.  Wonder why?
Am I crazy or does anyone else find this fascinating?  I think it would make a great thesis paper for someone in textile and museum studies or even a great coffee table book.
OK, maybe I'll do it on my spare time....

Bucket List Item #12: The American Indian and the Bandana

look for it at Barnes & Nobles!

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  • Chris Barton: May 16, 2016

    I do find this fascinating – had no idea of the “tie” with Native peoples – love the photos – the weathered faces must hide ineresting stories… must have quite the stash of collectables!! I always enjoyed hearing how you arrived at the names of your jackets, etc.

  • TerritoryMom: May 16, 2016

    I’ll buy your book too. We call them wild rags and bandanas in our house.
    I found this definition from Webster’s:
    Origin: Hindi bāndhnū, a method of dyeing < Sans bándhana-, tying (so named because the cloth is tied to prevent certain parts from receiving the dye) < IE *bhendh-, bind

    Interesting. I bet that each tribe has a word or phrase for bandana or head wrap. Love your card collection.
    Check this out for some great Native American photos:

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Anna, you are lovely to say – thanks!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Thanks Chris – I know I am a little off on this, but now I am collecting images of Native Americans with bandannas.

  • Anna in AZ: May 16, 2016

    I love it and think it’s a great idea! I’m a huge fan of coffee table books and dream of doing one someday…I will totally buy yours!

  • mayaciring: May 16, 2016

    Lol…actually it looks kinda silly to be honest, and I am not shocked that it hasn’t caught on :p But I like it and as per your request I had a bit of fun with it! Check it out:


    and vintage version:

    and I realized the real inspiration is that gal with the lasso:

    I hope you can see the pictures this way!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Mayaciring – next time you get rigged up in your Axl/Princess bandana, snap a pic – we’d love to see! You might just be on to something!

  • mayaciring: May 16, 2016

    Oh yeah, the coffee book is awesome, I would proudly display it in my table! Go for the thesis too!

  • mayaciring: May 16, 2016

    The eye patch bandana idea is certainly the best! I wonder how I could homage that into my own day to day stylings? I personally like to wear mine folded up Axl Rose style around my head and leave a small triangle piece in the middle of my forehead (kinda like a princess thing:)

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    TM – went to the link – it’s great! Wish it had a zoom feature – looks like some are in bandanas!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Jeanette, I checked out your Ebay site, but see you don’t have any bandannas listed at this time. Please contact me next time you do. I also collect vintage shawls so if you come across some great ones – I’m your buyer!

  • Jeanette: May 16, 2016

    Find the whole connection of the wild west and bandana’s fascinating, some of the vintage bandanas are super soft pieces of artwork. I am always on the look out for these under appreciated textile pieces of art. check me out on ebay , username : purveyor-of-the-past

  • mayaciring: May 16, 2016

    Drats! well tell you what, I’ll be sending a picture of my momma via email for the Double D Ranch Mother’s Day compilation, maybe I’ll attach them along…

  • karen greer: May 16, 2016

    Make that it( I really do teach writing lol!

  • karen greer: May 16, 2016

    You could even design a padded coffee table for i to sit on!! Go for it. See you at the book signing!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    ooh – need a better address – can’t see the photos!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Thorsten, sorry, I don’t have duplicates on those and I don’t want to split up the collection just yet.

  • Thorsten Westphal: May 16, 2016

    Nice bandanas will you sell 1,2, or 3 ?

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