Beaded Buckskin Moccasins
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Plains Indian (Mandan) Beaded Buckskin Moccasins

Plains Indian (Mandan) Beaded Buckskin Moccasins

Mandan

Plains Indian (Mandan) Beaded Buckskin Moccasins

Early footwear was side-seam moccasins with soft bottoms. This pair has beaded bear paw designs on the vamps (toe area facing upward). It was considered a privilege to put a pictographic symbol on clothing; this privilege had to have been earned in some manner. These are male moccasins with high tops that were allowed to fold down to the ground, the style of the early 1800ís. The welts are made with red trade cloth sewn into the stitching. In winter, the footwear consisted of winter hair moccasins. A reddish grass was sometimes stuffed into the moccasins to add insulation.

The buckskin moccasins were no protection against the prickly pear cactus. Accounts in the Lewis and Clark journals tell about adding extra soles to the moccasins in an attempt to deter cactus spines from poking through the leather. During constant use, moccasins wore out quickly. At times, the Corps members made new moccasins every two days when traveling through rocky terrain. During the winter at Fort Clatsop, 300 pairs of moccasins were made for the return trip back home!

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Plains Indian (Mandan) Beaded Buckskin Moccasins

 

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