Bay Miwok women animal skin capes in the winter to keep warm.


Lesson 5: Clothing & Appearance

Lesson 1
The Land
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Hunting &

Lesson 5
Clothing & Appearance
Lesson 6
Ceremonies & Beliefs
Lesson 7
Leadership & Trading
Lesson 8
Final Project

Student Guide


Read the information about Clothing & Appearance

Look at all pictures on this page.
Be sure to click on any links or words that are underlined.

Find the answers to the following research questions.
Write your answers on
Student Worksheet 5

1. What did the women wear?

2. What did the men wear?

3. How did they keep warm in the winter?

4. What kinds of jewelery did the men and women wear?

5. What did you learn about their tattoos?


Extend your thinking! Click on
the activity below:
Summer or Winter




Animal skins provided the main source of clothing for the Bay Miwok. The women wore either a two piece skirt of deerskin, grass or shredded tule fabric. The skirt had a front piece and a back piece that hung over a cord and was tied around the waist. During the warm weather the Bay Miwok men wore no clothes at all. In cold weather the men and women kept warm by wrapping themselves in fur capes made from skins of deer or moutain lion, or in blankets made of rabbit skin. The skins had been cut into strips, then sewn together so that the blanket would be furry and warm on the inside. When the weather was very cold they covered their bodies with mud to keep them warm. Everyone wore moccasins in cold weather. Children under 10 wore nothing, but older children dressed like their parents.


The men and women of the Bay Miwok tribe have been described as short, dark skinned people with long straight black hair that fell over their backs and shoulders. Their hair was only cut as a sign of mourning when a close relative died. Their noses were flat and their mouths wide. They used clam or oyster shells to pull hair away from their faces. Tatooing was found on both men and women. It was usually done in straight lines on their chin, and all the way down to their navel (belly button).

The Bay Miwok liked jewelery and body decoration. The women wore earrings, braceletes, and necklaces of shell, bone, and wood. The men wore ear plugs of bird bone with a white feather added and sometimes they wore bone or shell pieces through their noses. Children had their ear lobes and noses pierced while they were quite young.





Artist Louis Choris, 1816

This picture shows two women of the Saclan tribelet. Their short hair is a sign of mourning for the dead. This picture also shows tattooing on the chin.
Women wore apron like skirts made of tule or grass.
A Bay Miwok man and woman. Notice the tattoos on the man's chest and the woman's chin.

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