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Plains Culture

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Sioux Artist

Man's Moccasins, 1890-1899
Beads on leather
4 x 4 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (10.16 x 11.43 x 29.85 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American, Minnesota and Dakotas
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2072a,b
Buckskin moccasins with stiff soles and completely beaded uppers. Light blue elliptical section with American flags, a blue cross, and a multi-colored triangle. Elaborate multi-colored border.

Leather and glass beads

The American flag motif was often used to decorate traditional articles of clothing such as moccasins. Overall beading is characteristic of late 19th-century decorative work.

These ornate Lakota Sioux moccasins offer a unique combination of iconography, which includes geometric crosses, Latin style crosses, and representation of the American flag. The geometric crosses are likely related to the four sacred directions in Sioux culture, while the Latin cross and American flag would appeal to Christian missionaries and tourists. The combination of Native and non-Native iconography position these moccasins within a larger intercultural exchange. The inclusion of the flag and Christian cross may relate to the way these images and objects were incorporated into Plains cultures in the later 19th century. The flag and the cross, symbolic of the four directions, exemplify how Native artists conveyed their own meanings through the visual vocabulary of the dominant culture.

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.
Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 75, fig. 253.

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Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

  • Overall Dimensions: 4 x 4 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (10.16 x 11.43 x 29.85 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Overall Dimensions: 3 3/4 x 4 5/16 x 11 3/8 in. (9.53 x 10.95 x 28.89 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Plains Culture" and [Object]Century is "19th/20th c" and [Object]Display Artist is "Sioux Artist".

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