Cadet Pays Homage To Native American Heritage By Creating His Own Regalia
Texas A&M University cadet George Hass ‘22, a descendant of the Creek and Nez Perce tribes, is honoring his Native American heritage by donning traditional regalia that he created himself.
November is Native American Heritage Month, an opportunity to pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.
The month-long tribute to Native American heritage and traditions began several years ago for Hass, who attended his first pow-wow when he was a freshman in high school. He said he was a casual observer at first, but was in awe of the regalia worn by fellow Native Americans. Hass was so impressed that he wanted to make his own regalia.
Hass learned how to do beadwork, basket weaving, appliqué, leather work and wrapping, in addition to sewing.
“I spent many hours making the intricate parts of regalia. While it was a lot, it was worth it,” he said. “I was able to condense the Native American culture into a wearable medium.”
Most every element of the regalia was handmade by Hass. He said the bustle (feathered piece) took three months to make. He made the loincloths as well, with the front loincloth featuring a rabbit because his last name, Hass, means “hare” in German. The head roach is made of horse and deer hair.
Other regalia elements include the chest plate and bells, as well as furs and tassels that are worn around wrists and ankles. He carries feather fans made out of owls’ wings.
Hass said he is no longer just a casual observer at pow-wows. With the regalia he made, he’s now a participant in days’ long celebrations, dancing in tandem with his kin to the central drumbeat.
Hass said there’s no better way to play a part and bring attention to the Native American culture than recognizing the importance of the artistry, both inherent and intrinsic, that lies within each stitch and tassel of his and others’ regalia.
“It’s my opportunity to pay tribute, to continue a legacy, and to make those before and after me proud,” he said.