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Men's quilled leather moccasins with split tongue and metal cone tassels / Native American; Oglala Sioux

Essay/Description

Quilled leather moccasins. Perimeter and vamp are quilled with red and white quills. Tongue is quilled to the tips and ends with metal cones and dyed pink feathers. Beige cotton cloth sewn along the top of the cuff.

Before contact with white explorers and traders, Plains women used porcupine quills to decorate clothing and other objects. Women in the Plains regions usually embroidered geometric polychrome designs with quills. They dyed the three to four inch long quills with vegetable and mineral colors, softened them with spit, and sewed them to leather with a needle. With white influence and trade, beads became more popular, though quillwork is still practiced (Furst and Furst 1982, 166). Women take great pride in their ability to produce exquisite quillwork. Some tribes, including the Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Sioux, had quillwork guilds, and only women who created the best quillwork could be members, which meant that membership indicated high status and achievement (Dubin 1999, 272).

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Title(s): 
Men's quilled leather moccasins with split tongue and metal cone tassels
Culture: 
Native American; Oglala Sioux
Date: 
circa 1930
Period: 
Historic
Place: 
Great Plains, United States of America
Materials/Techniques: 
leather, quills, metal, feathers, cotton cloth, cotton string, hide
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
84.378a-b
Department: 
Not On View

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