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New Exhibit Highlights Native American Fashion

Dresses by Osage designer Wendy Ponca for her series titled "Ceremonial Attitude for the New Millenium." (Andrea Shea/WBUR)
Dresses by Osage designer Wendy Ponca for her series titled "Ceremonial Attitude for the New Millenium." (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

Walk into popular clothing stores and you’ll find trendy garments embellished with Native American-inspired patterns. That kind of cultural borrowing raises questions and concerns about commodification for the community of contemporary, indigenous American fashion designers. For them, tribal symbols, imagery and materials go much deeper than the mass marketplace.

Now, a new traveling exhibition called Native Fashion Now has debuted at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and it’s highlighting the difference. Andrea Shea from Here & Now contributor WBUR has more.

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