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Child's Moccasins

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Cheyenne Artist

Child's Moccasins, n.d.
Beads on leather
2 x 2 x 5 3/4 in. (5.08 x 5.08 x 14.61 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Abernethy
Accession Number: P5231a,b
Stiff soles with all beaded uppers. Elaborate design of blue, metallic, red, black, and translucent white. On buckskin.

glass beads and leather

Despite the Cheyenne's initial objections to incorporating non-Native materials acquired by trade into their art, beads steadily replaced quillwork as a decorative medium from the 1840s on. Even with this new material, designs remained simple, geometric, and bold, recalling those created with porcupine quills. In about 1870, translucent beads, as seen in these child's moccasins, appeared in Cheyenne country. The visible rows indicate the use of the lane or lazy stitch technique in which 6-12 beads on a thread are applied to create a tight row with a characteristic ridge. The moccasins possess details distinctive to Cheyenne work, including the contrasting beadwork between darker, stepped isosceles triangles and a plain background. The form of the moccasisn makes them typically Cheyenne as well, notably the thin strip of leather, serving as a welt, that protects the seam between the upper and the sole.

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.

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  • Overall Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 5 3/4 in. (5.08 x 5.08 x 14.61 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Overall Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 6 1/4 in. (5.08 x 5.08 x 15.88 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: 22

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