These reproduction moccasins or "Indian shoes" with high tops are representative of those worn by Indians of the Northeast during the winter months. A similar pair was collected in 1908 from the Wôbanakiak living at Lake George, New York. The high tops on winter mocassins were laced up to protect the ankles, making them especially useful for snowshoeing. Typically made of smoke-tanned moosehide or deerhide, they were often worn with wool liners and/or inner moccasins for additional protection. This example is the "puckered-toe" or "beavertail" type made from three pieces of hide: a sole piece, a U-shaped vamp piece over the toes that also served as the tongue, and an ankle flap. Traditionally, these pieces would have been sewn together with animal sinew. Like most everyday objects that got continual use, early "common" or undecorated moccasins are extremely rare today. Decorated versions were much more collectible and are more likely to be found in museum collections.
Date: Modern Reproduction