Women's high-top moccasins; ca. 1880. Small cut glass beads edging the flaps of the moccasins and a small medallion design on the upper were common designs used among the Kiowa and Comanche of the Southern Plains. These tribes, along with the Pawnee, Kiowa Apache, and Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes were known for their excellence in tanning leather to a soft velvety texture and a beautiful white coloring.
These Kiowa leg moccasins are made of brain-tanned deer skin, each moccasin being constructed in four pieces - a rawhide sole, deerskin upper and two pieces of deerskin to form the legging. The owner of these moccasins made a native resizing to the leggings at some point. The original slits for the earlier ties can still be seen. The tops of the leggings are beautifully fringed. The side flaps are edged in a fine lacing of blue beads. The inside parameter of the flaps are beaded in a strip of small glass cut beads in a white band with alternating crosses and hexagrams in rose, cobalt blue, green, greasy yellow, red white-hearts and dark translucent green. A line of German silver bosses, or buttons, extends the length of each flap in the middle of the design. Each upper is decorated with a morning star symbol with a single cobalt blue bead in the center surrounded by a light blue field and red white-heart finials outlined with white and tipped with cobalt blue. Each leg moccasin is rubbed in yellow ochre, although most has worn away with the notable exception of the side flaps. The leg moccasins measure approximately 19 inches tall and 10 inches from heel to toe.
PERIOD: Circa 1880
ORIGIN: Kiowa, Southern Plains
SIZE: Approximately 19" tall, 10" from heel to toe