How to Create a Historically Accurate Native Character in Red Dead Online

How to Create a Historically Accurate Native Character in Red Dead Online

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[Music] what's going on everybody today we're going to talk about the historical appearance and clothing of native americans in the american west which you can use to create a historically accurate native american character and read it online now before starting what has been by far the most requested topic i want to acknowledge that people have differing opinions so i just want to be clearing my intentions in making this video particularly in the current social and political climate as a history professor i'm approaching this topic from a place of education and respect and admiration
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for native cultures this is a game set in the american west and natives are a big part of that story as such i hope this video inspires folks to both honor and show respect to native cultures by giving them the knowledge to depict them in red dead online as historically accurate as possible all right let's get started to answer this question i dug deep into the archives and located the office of indian affairs annual report of the commissioner of indian affairs for the year 1898 starting on page 598 the report contains a section providing detailed statistics
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from different agencies across the american west on the clothing worn by tribal members they divided set attire worn by natives on the reservations into three categories citizens dress what we'd colloquially call european clothing white man's clothing or as one 1898 newspaper put it pale face car traditional dress such as native buckskin attire and partial dress a mixture of both citizens and traditional dress after combining subtribes into their full respective tribes and inputting this data into an excel spreadsheet i was able to calculate the exact percentages
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of clothing categories worn by different tribes in 1898. now to my knowledge this has never been done likely because nobody really had a reason to do it but i know many of you folks want to know which tribes wore what in 1898 in order to design a historically accurate native character so i made it happen now in the interest of time i'll only go over a dozen or so tribes but those i selected are among the most famous in the history of the american west let's start with the apache in 1898 according to reservation records 13 were attired in full citizen stress 50 wore partial dress
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and 37 continued to wear traditional dress as for the black feet 99 wore full citizen stress and only one percent wore partial dress none or traditional dress as for the cheyenne 25 percent wore full citizen stress 73 percent more partial dress and two percent continue to wear traditional dress next up are the comanches and kiowas as both tribes were historical allies often intermingled and were placed on the same reservation the report of the commissioner combined their data together in these tribes only three percent wore
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full citizen stress 78 wore partial and 19 still continue to wear a traditional dress as for the crow 25 wore citizen stress and 75 wore partial dress none wore traditional attire in 1898 as for the navajo none zero zilch nada wore full citizens clothing in 1898 only five percent wore partial dress and a whopping 95 continued to wear a traditional dress next up are the nez purse in 1898
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14 wore full citizen stress 85 wore partial dress and only one percent more traditional dress now to the pawnee in 1898 28 wore full citizen stress 21 percent more partial and 51 more traditional as for the youth about 38 war citizen stress 48 wore partial dress and 14 more traditional dress and last but certainly not least we'll look at the great sioux nation as a whole 77 percent wore full citizen stress in 1898
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18 wore partial dress and 5 wore traditional dress amongst the sub tribes the greatest outliers were the rosebud zoo with only 38 citizen stress 43 partial and 19 traditional now with all this said we need to remember a couple important things to start part of the native annuities that is the ongoing payment of money or goods to natives by the federal government in exchange for their lands included shipments of clothing as you might guess this clothing was often citizens dress as such many natives may have simply worn citizen stress because it was free
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and available but we also know that a number of natives preferred the advantages of clothing made from cotton and wool which was warmer in winter and cooler in summer than their traditional skins we also have evidence that there are often issues with the shipments of clothing being shoddily made by vendors contracted through the office of indian affairs such problems might have inspired tribes to stick more with their traditional attire or maybe the effect was negligible hard to say we must also remember that on some reservations in 1898 natives were encouraged to wear full or partial citizen stress which
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likely affected these numbers this was in line with an erosion of native tribal identity culture and property in the late 1800s stemming from the dawes act the curtis act among other government initiatives in time many natives exchanged their traditional culture for the white man's ways adopting his religion christianity occupation farming and even wearing his clothes while native children were immersed in white culture through indian boarding schools being forced to cut their hair and adopt citizens dress large-scale crackdowns on traditional native dress including hair length and face paint did not
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occur within the adult native population until after it was put in policy by the office of indian affairs in 1902 at which point according to february article in the chickasaw daily express the commissioner of indian affairs issued an order which compelled quote all male indians in the united states to have their hair cut frequently or at least not to wear it long the article continues by stating that the commissioner also prohibited natives of quote both sexes from painting their faces and forms and quote encourage the indians in adopting citizens clothing instead of
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the indian costume and blanket their words not mine to get the natives to fall in the line the commissioner suggested withholding supplies from recalcitrant indians until they comply in the discharge of those referring to non-complying natives who were employed by the government quote if any indian becomes obstreperous about the matter a short confinement in the guard house will affect a cure speaking of cure what is this uncle sorry back on track again these crackdowns on clothing hair and face paint
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weren't mandated until 1902. as such natives in 1898 had more freedom in the way they dressed or at least less repercussions so it gives folks a bit more wiggle room when it comes to designing their character [Music] while this would depend on whether or not they're wearing full citizens dress partial dress or traditional dress by 1898 natives have been placed on reservations for two decades according to newspaper reports at the time that were working off the data supplied by the annual report of the commissioner of indian affairs there were 297
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906 natives in north america in 1898 of that 95 675 or 32 percent had adopted full citizen stress this would include a pullover cotton shirt wool pants jacket vest tie and hat all right we'll start with shirts and read that online there's no perfect shirt but the collar over shirt and the everyday shirt are the closest options as for colors white was the most common but other popular colors were gray or light blue for pants i'd recommend black tuxedo pants or clerk pants for a jacket
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the black worsted coat is the most historically accurate while we're short on appropriate vest options the black lancer vest ridgefield vest traditional vest or the paisley vest is close enough as for a tie go with a black ascot or tech scarf finally for a hat pick up the black derby or a black flat brim stalker hat another historical option is to get a tan military scout hat and pair it with the matching tan neckerchief the 1898 annual report of the commissioner of indian affairs states that 31 923 natives about 11 were
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tired in partial dress which took a variety of forms this might include a white pullover cotton shirt and wool vest combined with wool or buckskin leggings and moccasins sometimes it could just be a traditional pullover cotton shirt that's been embellished with fringes and beadwork or a wool vest that has been heavily ornamented other times it was holy citizen's dress but with traditional jewelry and moccasins we see this in the book trails of a wilderness wander where author andy russell writes about natives he met in the early 1900s in his words quote the men wore nondescript white
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man's clothing most of them still used moccasins but the feathered inferred headdresses had been largely replaced by hats the men still wore their hair long and in braids in red dead online partial dress can be achieved in a variety of ways here's example number one modeled after tribes of the great plains as there are no leggings in the game big oversight by rockstar in my opinion i substituted them for the alvarado chaps and the leather pants which suffices i then paired these with the brindle moccasins up top i'm wearing the everyday shirt in white a black traditional vest
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along with a red neckerchief it's important to note that many natives wore cotton shirts with a variety of patterns so you can't go too wrong mixing and matching shirts and neckerchiefs here here's another option example number two modeled after a patchy partial dress i took the plot of pants and combined them with the cibola boots but maintained the same upper body combo that i had in the previous outfit that is the everyday shirt in white black traditional vest and a red naked chiff as the apache typically wore headbands but red did online does not yet offer them i improvised with the black woolen hat which still looks
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pretty good historically the apaches wore neckerchips in a variety of colors and while most shirts were white and worn untucked at tunic length something we still can't do there's a number of photographs showing apaches wearing darker ones as well as such feel free to mix and match these components in different colors for example here you can see an apache variation where i simply switch to a navy frontier shirt black neckerchief in different color plaza pants and sebola boots lots of options here so have fun with these combinations for example number three i created a common partial dress
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for natives across the american west for this i chose the brindle moccasins and the leather pants as an alternative to proper leggings additionally i added the goodman gun belt as natives were notorious for having intricately decorated belts up top i have the everyday over shirt in white and the stalker hat in black and in case you're wondering yes most natives wore their shirts fully buttoned [Music] according to commissioner of indian affairs report 170 303 natives about 57
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continued to wear traditional clothing in 1898 it's important to note that traditional clothing worn by natives depended upon a variety of factors from the climate to the season to the natural resources and materials available to each area or region while many articles of clothing overlap between tribes some attire accoutrements and ornamentation were more associated with specific tribes or sub-tribes now with that said let's dive in in warmer months most natives across the west didn't wear shirts at all only wearing a breech clout a strip of leather fabric running from front to
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back between the legs or a loincloth which simply hung in front and back combined with moccasins and optional leather leggings in colder months leggings were much more common along with a simple deerskin tunic to cover the upper body this many tribes would add a wearing blanket that is a blanket wrapped around the waist we see these in numerous native portraits from the period likely due to their utilitarianism being able to be worn around the waist or slung up over one or both shoulders when desired this is very similar to the belted plaid the standard item of men's highland
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dress in scotland from the late 15th to 1700s which was used as both a garment and bedding when sleeping on the ground back in the american west some of these wool blankets used by natives were produced by shepherding tribes in the southwest particularly the navajo but most came from white traders and fur trading companies such as the hudson's bay company the northwest company the missouri fur company and the american fur company while it should be noted that these blankets are not technically traditional native attire again outside the shepherding societies of the southwest i still place them
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under traditional native dress as they've been utilitarian accessories amongst western natives for centuries beyond wool blankets most natives in the american west wore animal robes in the fall and winter these differed by region and available resources but most plains natives wore buffalo ropes while others wore ropes of antelope elk or other small animals pieced or woven together now all this said it must be noted that many natives rotated between all three styles of clothing as preference or circumstances dictated we see this with famous natives such as quanah parker
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geronimo sitting bull red cloud and gaul who at different points in time were photographed in traditional partial and citizen's clothing and read that online traditional dress can be achieved in a variety of ways here's a generic setup that could apply to many tribes in the american west and just to note the plot of pans worked great for this as well as you can see i kept everything below the waist the same as we had it with our great plains partial dress which would make sense as those components were all traditional i just removed the clothing from the upper body if it looks a bit bare up top you can
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blame rockstar as they leave us no options to properly replicate historically accurate native accessories such as necklaces armbands bracelets paint or various other items in place of necklaces you can add a neckerchief to match your leggings or in place of bracelets a pair of leather wrist cuffs or as the game calls them gauntlets but as is these aren't historically accurate components of traditional native dress additionally because the game currently lacks blanket wraps and buffalo robes you can substitute the ladder for the trunk coat in dark brown or the bison
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duster either of which work well enough if you want your character to wear a shirt the most accurate to the traditional deerskin tunic is the string i'm sure at this point adjusting your hairstyle can also make your character more tribe specific but we don't have to get into that now as we'll be covering hairstyles and accessories later in the video as a general rule native women of all tribes wore more clothing than men when it comes to traditional dress for native women the most typical garment was the one-piece sleeveless dress usually made from elk or deerskins this style was used by most tribes in the
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american west exceptions include the cheyenne osage and pawnee women who wore two-piece garment consisting of a deer-skinned skirt and a cape a form typical of the woodland indians of the eastern u.s regardless of the tribe almost all natives embellish these dresses particularly the yolk that is the upper area around the neck and shoulders this would be ornamented with animal teeth shells carved bones porcupine quills bits of metal coins and or brightly colored glass beads acquired from traders such embellishments were sometimes merely aesthetic in nature but they
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sometimes carry deeper meaning such as identifying a woman's tribe marital status or indicating the hunting prowess of her family members other embellishments like leather fringe at the cuffs and bottom or hemline also serve utilitarian purposes in the case of fringe it made clothes dry faster how this worked is that gravity would pull rainwater and moisture down into the fringe which was always located at the bottom or underside of the clothing as the fringe moved moisture worked its way to the tips and the swaying motion of the leather strips rapidly sped up
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evaporation sure it looks cool but now you understand its real purpose in the american west during the late 1800s women's citizen stress was usually composed of a high neck long sleeve dress that ran to the ankle though it should be noted that native women tended to cut the skirts slightly higher ending between the knee and shin the same length as their traditional deer and elk skin dresses these came in a variety of fabrics most common in cotton and wool but also silk and sported patterned striped and solid designs as for colors the majority tended to be darker shades particularly
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when it came to solid designs the other common citizen's dress was two-piece composed of a long cotton or wool skirt that stretched the ankle combined with the long-sleeve button-up cotton or wool-colored shirt as for colors the skirts tended to be dark usually navy gray or brown and the shirts were much lighter often white as for partial dress native women tended to add wearing blankets ornamental belts and various native jewelry particularly necklaces to their citizens dress additionally they maintain their traditional moccasins since i don't have a female character who read that online i
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regrettably cannot try on or assess female clothing options from the wheeler and ross and catalog in the same way i do with the men's clothing however i trust that you will still find this guide useful in separating out the historically accurate options from the inaccurate now there's a variety of special clothing and accessories that rockstar could and should add in order to better replicate the historical appearance and culture of native americans in addition necklaces armbands bracelets etc here are some other items wore shirts were powerful sacred garments worn by native american
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men what makes him so significant is that a man had to earn the right to wear it by repeatedly proving himself through extreme acts of bravery and combat selfless character wisdom strength and concern for the welfare of his tribe once a warrior achieved the war shirt honor they were still required to follow a strict code of conduct and continued bravery otherwise the shirt could be revoked war shirts were the same cut as the traditional male tunic would be made of deer elk or bighorn sheepskin all wore shirts had four embroidered strips one over each shoulder and one running
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down each sleeve decorated with beadwork quill work or combination of both techniques these shirts were most commonly embellished with scalp blocks under the arms which gave these shirts not only a menacing appearance but also another name scalp shirts interpretations vary but the scalps are said to be from slaying enemies taken from the warriors on locks or gifted from the wearer's family in place of human hair other wore shirts had ermine skin tubes weasel skins running under the arm or simply leather fringe though the latter projected lower status than the former two some shirts were painted with
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pictographs or colored designs varying between the tribe period or place of origin the lakota or teton sioux often painted their shirts yellow and blue or yellow and green other tribes left their shirts undyed or just used a single color which was gradually lightened as it went from top to the bottom most colored war shirts were brown green and red and less commonly blue or black as war shirts were earned through extraordinary bravery discipline and dedication to one's tribe it bestowed immense social status upon the wearer by all who saw him
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i think rockstar has an opportunity here to put war shirts in the game but do so in a meaningful respectful and historically accurate way for example have them lock behind a high honor threshold combined with requirements of completing a variety of tailored in-game challenges and immense accomplishments things that should take us months of effort and once unlocked let those who earned war shirts customize the colors fringe type beadwork etc so it's a personalized meaningful accomplishment that characters can proudly display now it might just be me but this is the
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type of stuff i'd like to see added to the game hair pipe breastplates were coveted articles among many native tribes on the great plains and rocky mountain west equal in value to a good horse prior to the reservation period beginning around 1880 hair pipe breastplates were worn by the comanche kiowa kiowa apache ponca and pawnee in the south the arapaho and cheyenne and oklahoma wyoming and montana the lakota or teton sioux of the dakotas and the ute west of the rockies after 1880 the reservation
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system put a stop to inter-tribal warfare and ushered in a period of friendly interaction between previously hostile groups as a result hair pipe breastplates spread amongst a number of other tribes including the nez perce and the shoshones however the crow showed little interest in the hair pipes of their former enemies and they were also rare among the blackfeet that might also be because the blackfeet preferred a necklace of grizzly bear claws which denoted the wearer as a distinguished man of bravery in time this necklace also became popular amongst other tribes as well it's not hard to imagine
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why many tribes especially southwestern tribes like the apache navajo and pueblo were cloth headbands often acquired through white traders famously apache scouts recruited by the us army beginning in 1871 wore red headbands to distinguish themselves from hostiles thereby avoiding instances of friendly fire during battle why such a simple accessory isn't available in the game i can't tell you amongst natives particularly tribes of the great plains eagle feathers were a mark of great honor given to individuals
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an acknowledgement of a significant accomplishment often acts of valor in battle as each feather acknowledged a great deed it's from this practice that we get the expression a feather in his cap these feathers were either worn or displayed on a pole used for ceremonial purposes if an individual masked enough eagle feathers they were made into a headdress or warp on it because the greater the number of feathers in a headdress the more accomplished the person a common misconception developed that is still prevalent today that is the idea that only chiefs would wear them as chiefs would certainly be amongst the most accomplished members of
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their tribes most certainly did wear them yet some accomplished warriors who were not chiefs also earned them and wore them as well as a whole however full headdresses were usually reserved for tribal leadership again rockstar has an opportunity here to implement feathers into the game in a meaningful respectful and historically accurate way by locking a single feather behind tailored challenges and accomplishments once unlocked allow players to display the feather or feathers in their hat on a pole at their camps or on a lance bow or saddle accumulate a
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certain number and players can craft a small warbonnet accumulate dozens and they can make a full headdress to avoid cowboys riding around in headdresses maybe there's even a way to reserve these war shirts hair pipe breastplates and other items to native characters only by linking the heritage types option and the character creation screen to a native tech tree that gives them access to heritage specific weapons saddles accessories canoes camps dwellings and so forth or maybe folks just want a wide open sandbox where anyone can be wear or do anything it's not my call
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just an idea [Music] native tribes wore their hair in a variety of ways and while they were common styles among specific tribes there were always exceptions so with that said most men from plain strides particularly the great suit nation wore their hair very long and loose or their hair long in two braid fashion while most women of these tribes parted their hair in the middle and wore it in two braid fashion amongst the navajo most men wore their hair loose at medium length often just touching the shoulder while the women grew their hair
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long and typically tied into a ponytail the apaches tended to grow their hair long and wore loose although a southern tribe comanche men wore their hair in long two braid fashion while the women wore theirs loose at a short or medium length and parted down the middle similar to the comanche most northern tribes such as the blackfeet wore their hair long in two braid fashion as well most men of the crow tribe cropped their hair on the top of their heads and spiked it straight up left the sides long usually braided some members of the blackfoot western dakota also known as the yankton
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sioux kiowa and others trained a forelock to hang down over their forehead nose tribes such as the pawnee omaha and osage cropped or shaved the size of their head leaving a single ridge or tuft of hair at the top lewis and clark noted in their journals that some members the oglala sioux a sub-tribe of the lakota also known as the teton sioux shaved the size of their heads as well again it's important to remember that there are always exceptions to these trends and that hairstyles were often embellished with feathers animal fur braid wraps beads and other
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items all right now that you folks have all this information i wish you the very best in designing your own historically accurate native american character i'll see you on the trail [Music] thank you guys for watching i hope you enjoyed the video uh i just have to tell you we just celebrated having 10 000 subscribers and now we have 15 000 and i don't even know i don't even know what happened there uh but i have to thank you folks so thank you so much for believing in
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this channel uh for really building this thing up we got so much awesome stuff coming down the pipe for this channel you're gonna love it so thank you guys uh for everything um anyway hopefully you enjoyed the video uh if you did please make sure you like subscribe and um hit that notification bell too because uh that way you know when the videos are actually coming out but anyway thank you folks so much you have a wonderful night we'll see you next time before taking off just wanna make sure i thank my patreon patrons as i always do
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so thank you to my gold tier patreon patrons tyler bioshock rodriguez chasing victory ashley guertinson teddy bad boy the innocence drake gliskin hurt wave comrade krieger man vs moose gossip e bryce v zonk breezes cyber noah ovens and rich christians also want to make sure that i thank my bronze and silver to your patreon patrons as well you guys are absolutely fantastic look at the growth we're having this is all because of you guys supporting the channel early on stick with me all this time i love seeing it let's keep growing
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let's keep doing this thank you so much [Music] guys you

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