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Edgar Heap of Birds, Spring 2013

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Caddo-Delaware Artist



Moccasins, c. 1910
Leather and beads
x 11 13/16 in. ( x 30 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Abernethy
Accession Number: P1534a,b
Beadwork uppers: red and blue floral design on light blue with a white border. Red velvet and green ribbon appliqué on the flaps. Blue curvilinear design on one flap, blue hearts on the other. Made of one piece of soft buckskin.

Materials
glass beads and leather

Attribution
Report by R. Conn (1978) was referenced to identify this object.

Commentary
Caddo moccasins were often made of one piece of soft buckskin, with triangular shapes in beadwork on the uppers. In contrast to the lane stitch tecnique commonly seen on Plains moccasins, Caddo artist used the spot stitch or appliqué technique to apply beads. Curvilinear designs, ribbons, and fabrics such as velvet were commonly used to decorate flaps. One of the most striking aspects of the artistic traditions that developed during the 19th century is the originaliry of Native beaders' interpretations of floral designs. While Euro-Americans saw Native American adoption of floral designs as an indictaion of their assimiliation, craftsmen often used the same imagery to express indigenous cultural and spiritual beliefs regaridng the importance of the natural world.

Bibliography
Kathleen Howe, Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice (Claremont: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2013), 23 illustrated/color.
Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 80 (illustrated/bw) fig. 43.

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