—The woven belt, ordinarily worn by the women around their everyday dresses of dark wool, became a part of the ceremonial costume because of its usefulness and its striking colors. Walter Hough remarks that "the greatest play of fancy in the Hopi textile art is the weaving of belts". In this article of apparel there could be produced small and greatly varied patterns not limited by ceremonial rules (fig. 10, p. 58).Woven on an easily manipulated small loom, warp threads to form the designs could be picked out by hand. "The warp and weft are often of the same yarn, giving uniformity of texture, but usually the warp is partly of yarn of the same thickness as the weft yarn and partly smaller. This arrangement furnishes a fertile field for the play of design. The warp in the central or pattern band of a belt is generally of small white yarn and another color of larger yarn, usually red, the former working out white pattern grounds, having raised figures in red warp, the latter contrast being produced by the difference in size of the yarns, the small warp being worked singly and the larger in pairs". The use of small and large warps gives an uneven surface to the material and is the only example in Pueblo weaving in which this method of obtaining variety is found. The most prevalent color scheme is composed of a wide center of red broken by black designs and edged with two stripes of green which in turn are bordered by two narrow lines of black. Other combinations show a red center with white designs, a black and red stripe, and a final line of white on each side; or
a red center with white patterns, a stripe of blue-green, one of ultramarine followed by one of red, and a final edging of white. The patterns are manifold geometric forms made up of small triangles and with lines repeated in different and varying combinations.
The women wear this belt wrapped several times around the waist, drawn in tightly, with part of the loose fringe tucked under a lap so that the rest falls down on the left side. The brilliant color of the belt is a conspicuous accent on the dark garment (pl. 1). The width varies from three to five inches and the tight wrapping helps to confine the figure. The men dancers use this belt to hold their kilts in place or to encircle their bodies over the brocaded sash. When worn in the latter fashion, one part is looped over and the fringe of the two ends hangs to the middle of the calf of the leg. In the Peace Dance of the Tewa, which depicts a combat between chiefs of opposing forces, "a description of the battle which brought peace to the tribe", the wife of each chief appears holding one end of a belt which is fastened to her husband's waist. The significance of this is that behind all warfare the ties of family and home life are vital incentives to valorous deeds.