BOYCOTT Yahoo Search Engine and Mac Afee Virus Protection
 For Unfairly Labeling this and another Native American Web Site
as "UNSAFE". 
 Read Details...

AMERICAN INDIAN MOCCASINS

 

Introduction
Map of Different Mocassins by Tribe
Ojibway, Pucker-Top and Soft-Soled Moccasin (Woodland Tribes)
The Sioux or Hard-Sole Moccasin (Plains Tribes)
How to Make Mocassins--- Links
How to Care For Moccasins
Warrior Moccasin Project

INTRODUCTION

     Traditional Native American clothing varied widely from tribe to tribe, but one nearly universal element was the moccasin, a sturdy slipper-shaped type of shoe sewn from tanned leather.

     The word "moccasin" comes from an Algonquian word (also spelled mocasin, mocassin, moccassin, or mocussin, depending on the language and transcriber), but that is only because Algonquians were the first Indians encountered by Europeans--they were used as footwear from Sonora to Saskatchewan, and though "moccasins" may be understood and accepted by all of them at this point, most Indian tribes have their own native word for them.

     All American Indian moccasins were originally made of soft leather stitched together with sinew. Though the basic construction of Native American moccasins was similar throughout North America, moccasin patterns were subtly different in nearly every tribe, and Indian people could often tell each other's tribal affiliation simply from the design of their shoes. (In fact, the common names of some large nations like the Blackfoot and the Chippewas refer to their characteristic moccasin styles.)

     Tribal differences included not only the cut of the moccasins, but also the extensive beadwork, quillwork, and painted designs many Indian people lavished on their shoes. In some tribes hardened rawhide was used for the sole for added durability, and in others rabbit fur (or, later, sheepskin) was used to line the leather moccasins for added warmth.
 
CLICK ON MAP FOR
LARGER VIEW

Go to this MAP at http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/
moccasin/mocmap.html

Click on the red dots to see pictures of actual moccasins.
   
     Plains Indian women also wore moccasin boots sometimes, which were basically just women's thigh-length leggings sewn to their moccasins for a one-piece look (very beautiful when fully quilled). Heavier-duty boots called mukluks were the invention of the Inuit (Eskimos), who made them of sealskin, fur, and reindeer hide; some subarctic Indian tribes adapted the mukluk style through trade or other contact with the Inuit, using caribou or buckskin instead.

     Native American moccasin design has stood the test of time; not only are moccasins still being made and worn in many Indian tribes today, but they have also passed into the American mainstream, and both hard-soled moccasin shoes and soft-soled moccasin slippers are mass-produced by hundreds of non-native shoe stores now.

http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/moccasin/moctext.html
 
THE OJIBWAY, PUCKER-TOP and SOFT-SOLED MOCCASIN
 
Circa 1890
Chippewa moccasins with one piece front seam, beaded vamp inserts and cuffs.
http://www.morningstargallery.com/
   
     Soft-soled moccasins, often constructed from a single piece of leather were common in the Eastern Forests and were made by bringing up the sole of the shoe around the foot and puckering or patching the material around the instep. Soft-soled center seam and pucker-toe moccasins were well suited to travel through woodlands with leaf and pine-needle covered ground. This was usually made of three pieces, each a different kind of leather -the sole of the heaviest moosehide, the ankle flaps of thin, soft buckskin, and the inset or tongue of the finest caribou leather, elaborately decorated. Some soft-soled moccasins from the Plains and Northwest Coast were made from one piece but they were sewed along one the side of the foot rather than the center.

     When rough-and-ready Ojibway moccasins are needed both of the pair are alike--there are no lefts or rights. But a fine pair of moccasins commonly has the tongues decidedly right and left--this gives a much more elegant and fitted appearance.

     Woodland moccasins were often decorated, usually in floral or zoomorphic designs, on the instep or tongue portion, woodland decorationdid not usually cover the sides of the moccasin. The flap or added cuff around the ankle was also often decorated, or worn upright and held in place by thongs wrapped around the ankle. A separate beaded or quilled piece of velvet or leather was sometimes sewn on top of the cuff or tongue portion. These decorated panels could be easily removed from the moccasins when the soles wore out, and sewn onto a new pair.

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/winter/gear/moccasins/index.htm 
http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/moccasin/moctext.html
 
THE SIOUX OR HARD-SOLE MOCCASIN
 
Circa 1890 Cheyenne moccasins with Thunderbid motif on vamp.
http://www.morningstargallery.com/
   
     Hard-sole moccasins, usually made from two or more pieces of hide, are often associated with the western plains and deserts areas. The hard sole of shaped rawhide and fitted leather upper required more tailoring than other moccasin varieties. Hard-soled moccasins were important to protect feet from harsh cactus or prairie-grass covered ground, and sharp rocks not worn down by water. The turned up toe of many two-piece moccasins (like that of the Apache) prevented sharp objects from running into the seams and injuring the foot. The chief peculiarity of this mocassin is the thick, hard sole, often made with rawhide.

     This type of moccasin is always in rights and lefts.

     Plains moccasins often left the cuff undecorated, but geometric bead and quillwork patterns often decorated the instep portion, or around the circumference near the sole. Some Plains designs covered the entire top of the moccasin from the heel to the toe. Moccasins worn for marriage were often completely covered in beads. For Plains peoples preparedness in the afterlife, many moccasins worn into burial were fully beaded even on the bottom of the soles.


http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/winter/gear/moccasins/index.htm 
http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/moccasin/moctext.html
 
HOW TO MAKE MOCCASINS--- Below are Links to Sites that have Moccasin Patterns and Instructions on how to make moccasins.
 
  How to Make a Pucker-Top Moccasin:
http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/winter/gear/moccasins/index.htm 

How to Make Hard Sole Mocassin:
http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/winter/gear/moccasins/index.htm 

How to Make a Pair of Woodlands Style Moccasins with Fur Trim.
http://jumaka.com/moccasins/index.html 

One-Piece, Soft-Sole, Center-Seam Moccasins
http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/moccasin/mocinstr.html

Nebraska Trailblazer #1
http://www.nebraskahistory.org/museum/teachers/material/trail/
indians/moccasin.htm


Soft Sole Plains Moccasins
http://mdc.mo.gov/teacher/highered/crafts/craft21.htm 

Children's Craft Project-Plains Indian Moccasins
http://www.worldbook.com/features/cybercamp/html/craftmoc.html
 
HOW TO CARE FOR MOCASSINS

    Moose, elk, deer and cow hide benefit greatly from a leather conditioner and we highly recommend that you apply this before you wear your moccasins. It will protect against scuffs and act as a barrier against most stains and dirt.

    We suggest Leather Lano Cream made with natural products. It has a pleasant Eucalyptus fragrance to freshen your footwear. Available in regular and extra large.

     When dirty take a moistened cloth with a mild soap and clean both inside and outside. DO NOT SOAK. Allow the moccasin to dry in a cool place away from the hot sun or heat registers.

     Suede sheepskin moccasins can be cleaned with a damp cloth without soaking. Alternatively there is a special suede eraser that can be used to remove stubborn stains.

These recommendations come from: http://jumaka.com/moccasins/index.html 
 
WARRIOR MOCASSIN PROJECT
National Native American Veterans Association (NNAVA)
http://www.nnava.org/wmpindex.html

     A Native American tradition, especially among the Plains Tribes, was that any time a warrior went to battle he would wear only new moccasins. The reason for this was the new moccasins were to help insure his safe return home from the upcoming battle. Should he be killed or seriously injured, the new moccasins would ease his transition into the afterlife. The Warrior Moccasin Project draws from that tradition and honors the sacrifice being made by our Native American troops currently serving in harmís way in the Middle East.

     Each pair of moccasins are hand made from deer hide and decorated with hand beading on the vamp of the moccasin. Each pair is blessed and smudged according to tradition. Included with each pair of moccasins is an informational sheet explaining the reason for the gift of the moccasins being passed to the service member and a combination of other healing herbs.

     Moccasins are free to NNAVA members, non NNAVA members may be charged a minimal fee to defray the cost of materials and shipping.

     All work is done by volunteers with no renumeration for their efforts.

     Donations of time and/or materials is always welcome.

To Apply. Volunteer. Donate. Ask A Question. http://www.nnava.org/wmpindex.html

 

Below are Links to the Other Native American Life Living Art Pages
[ Native American Art Contents Page ] [ Native American Arrowheads Page 1 ]
[ Native American-Artists and Sculptures-Page1 ]
[ Native American Baskets Page 1 ] [ Native American Beadwork Page 1 ]
[ Native American-Corn Husk Dolls ] [ Native American-Dreamcatchers ]
[ Native American Dress Page 1 ] [ Native American-Drums-Page1 ]
[ Native Amercian-Kachinas Article ] [ Native American Masks ]
[ Native American-Moccasins ]
[ Native American Music-Introduction and Contents ]
[ Navajo/Navaho Sand Paintings ] [ Native American-Pipes-Bowls-Bag-Page 1 ]
[ Native American-Pottery Styles-Page 1 ] [ Native American Shields ]
[ Native American Weapons: Tomahawks

Below are Links to the Main Pages which are also on the Slide Out Menu
[ Home ] [ Contents of SnowwOwl's Website ] [ Flash News!-NA Current Issues ] [ Music Options ] [ NA Information Contents Page ] [ Native American People/Tribes-Contents ]
[ Native American History-Contents ] [ Powwow Information Contents Page ]
[ Native American Life Living Art-Contents ] [ Native American-Leaders ]
[ Hear the Voices of the People-Native American Testimony ] [ The Natural World ]
[Native American-Recipes ] [ SnowwOwl's Writings-Contents ] [ The Outraged Owl ]
[ Spotted Wolf's Corner ] [ Hill & Holler Column ] [ Wotanging Ikche ]
[ So Says, Spirit Hawk ^i^ ] [ Student Projects ] [ Guest Contributions Contents ]
[ Dedicated People Contents ] [ SnowwOwl-A Few SnowwOwl Feathers ]
[ Featured Websites Contents ] [ Featured Artists Contents Page ] [ Credits and Links ]
[ Guest Log Archives Contents Page ] [ Email Information ]
[ Snowwowl's Website Awards ]
 

Guest Book

Email

Guest Log

 

You Are the

Visitor to This Page

This Site Designed and Maintained By-
www.witticismsink.com
November 3, 2001

Created April 17, 2007

Website Hosted by
www.Dino-DragonWorld.com