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Edgar Heap of Birds, Spring 2013

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Sioux Artist

Moccasins, c. 1890
Beads on leather
2 3/4 x 3 5/8 x 9 1/8 in. (6.99 x 9.21 x 23.18 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2066a,b
Moccasins with stiff rawhide soles and completely beaded uppers. Blue central area with a predominantly white bar with a red lozenge and yellow angle patterns. White border with multi-colored step-pyramids. Plain flaps.

glass beads and leather

Kathleen Howe, Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice (Claremont: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2013), 22 illustrated/color.
Photographed by "Time Life," June 27, 1977.

Women developed designs specifically for moccasins to accommodate the characteristic shape and limited surface area available for decoration. These two pairs of moccasins feature ornamental borders that follow the seam connecting the upper to the seprate stiff sole. The form in the central area--two sheath-shaped areas seprated by a bar--is known as the "buffalo hoof" pattern becasue it echoes a bison hoof print. The beadwork on both pairs shows multicolored step pyramids and other geometric patterns, which were prevalent before the turn of the century. White was commonly used as a background color, as seen in one of these pairs of moccasins, and green was often used to fill the "buffalo hoof," as seeon in the other pair. Both pairs feautre at least two different shades of blue, reflecting the importance of blues of all hues.

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  • Overall Dimensions: 2 3/4 x 3 5/8 x 9 1/8 in. (6.99 x 9.21 x 23.18 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Overall Dimensions: 3 x 3 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (7.62 x 8.57 x 22.23 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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This object has the following bibliographic references:
  • Nuance of Sky. Nuance of Sky Pomona College Museum of Art. Claremont, 2013
    Page Number: 10

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