Pair of Moccasins
Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
Hide, beads, bird quills, porcupine quills, tin, deer hair, sinew, pigment
early 19th century
4 x 5 x 11 in. (10.2 x 12.7 x 27.9 cm) (show scale)
Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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Sioux (Native American). Pair of Moccasins, early 19th century. Hide, beads, bird quills, porcupine quills, tin, deer hair, sinew, pigment, 4 x 5 x 11 in. (10.2 x 12.7 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.23a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.67.23a-b_PS2.jpg)
overall, 50.67.23a-b_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
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Constructed from a single piece of recycled buffalo hide, formerly painted, these side seam moccasins retain some of the design known as "box and border," in particular one of the terminal parts of the "box" pattern on the painted soles. The painting may have been scraped off the piece of the skin that forms the upper section.
The decoration of the vamp is primarily bird quills. These "U" shaped sections of the moccasins are made up of concentric parallel lines. The bottom of the "U", nearer the toe, is composed of three yellow bands, alternating with orange. The upper part of the"U" is physically continuous with this, but is delineated by an abrupt change in color. Alternating rectangles of brown and blue make up the parallel, shorter bands in this section. Thin rows of yellow, orange, and black porcupine quill cover the side seam. Blue pony beads adorn the edge of the tongue and cuff. The laces are ornamented at the tips with tin cones stuffed with red deer hair. All the sewing is done with sinew. See Jarvis supplemental file in Arts of Americas' office.
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