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Moccasin - The skin footwear of all American Indians, except a few along the Mexican border and on the Pacific Coast who went barefoot or wore sandals.  the Indian moccasin is one of the most widespread articles of indian clothing.  the word is from the Algonquian mockasin.

Moccasins are dived roughly into two general classes:  those of the Plains Indians with hard rawhide soles sewed to a soft buckskin upper, and those of the Woodland Indians where the sole and upper consisted of one piece of thick soft leather, sewed together at the instep and heel.  The latter sometimes had a small vamp on top to which the sole was sewed by puckering it.

moccasins were ornamented with dyes, quills, beads, cloth, buttons, fur, and fringe.  Types of decoration differed among tribes, and the tribe to which an Indian belonged usually could be told by the cut and decoration on his moccasins.

Moccasin tracks, too, would reveal the T-shaped seam at the toe and heel of the northern Athapascan; the hard flat soles of the Plains Indians; the soft rounded soles of the Woodland Indian; or the seam along the side from the great toe to the heel of the Nez Percé.  The Cheyenne always left a little "tail" of leather at the back of the moccasin heel.  The trail of a moccasin worn by a warrior who had gained honors might reveal that he wore tails of small animals at the heels.

The boot or legging moccasin, worn from Alaska to new mexico and Arizona, was common as part of a woman's costume.

The women of the tribe made the moccasins and a man on a journey or hut usually carried several pairs with him.


Related Information within this Site
[ Barefoot Indians ][ Beads ][ Bear ][ Buckskin ]
[ Costume ][ Quillwork ][ Rawhide ][ Trail To ][ Women ]