Cowboys and Indians

By: The Costume King

As a child, you traipsed around the house in a plastic cowboy hat, occasionally trying to mount the family dog to ride it like a horse. During your college years, you may revel in the fact that you never became the cowboy of your childhood dreams, but at least you can pretend with the Cowboys and Indians party theme. By the end of this party, you may be able to mount something other than the dog and ride her like a bucking bronco.

Setting Up

Let’s set the mood for this shindig right off the bat. You’re in the Wild West for this party, so you want to place a few cacti (safely) around the room. As with the Wild West theme, you can even spring for a few replica or authentic cow / bull skulls to rest at the base of a cactus or two. Unlike the Wild West party, though, you’ve got another set of decor that you ‘ll want to incorporate.

While you may not be able to fit a full sized teepee in your dorm, novelty shops and online retailers do have miniature models that, at the very least, lend a hand to setting the mood for your “Native American” guests. Arrowheads are another nice, cheap little touch that can either adorn your walls or find themselves scattered by the bar. Want to give your musically inclined friends a chance to entertain? Throw in a Native American drum or two.

Your drink list, outside of rustic beers, bourbons, and whiskeys, should also include these very simple beverages native to the Native American culture:

  • Honey Drink
    • 1 quart water and 2/3 cups honey blended together and chilled
    • Sassafras Tea
      • 4 Cups Water
      • 6 Sassafras Roots
      • Add roots to boiling water and allow to cook until water becomes red and smells strongly of the root
      • Add sweeteners as desired

    What to Wear?

    When dressing for a role as a cowboy, you’ll want to go for that “rustic” Marlboro Man look. Cowboy hat, cowboy boots, dusted blue jeans, a button down shirt, spurs, and - for the gunslingers out there - a pistol belt. If you don’t have facial hair, you can use a technique known as stippling to give yourself a five o’clock shadow.

    The Native Americans of the party can cheat by logging onto any online costume retailer to find a “Pocahontas” or “Indian Chief” costume. Those looking for authenticity will want to decorate themselves in deer and buckskin shirts, easily found all over the internet. Colorful feathers add a bit of brightness and authenticity to the outfit as do headdresses, also available online in authentic retailers and costumer shops.

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