April 22, 2023 - Westlock
THIS WORKSHOP IS A 1 DAY (9am - 5pm) and materials are supplied.
Please bring your own lunch.
Wendy is an Indigenous woman originally from Manitoba.
She is married to an Alberta Metis man and they have 2 sons and a grandson.
They operate a trading post and tipi experience that is family run in Yellowhead County. Her products are hand made authentic and locally caught on their land. She has a gift of turning pelts into amazing products and has been featured on tv.
The word moccasin comes from the Algonquian language Powhatan and has since been generalized to mean any kind of Native Indian sewn footwear.
Despite the fact that moccasins are one of the most popular slippers in almost all parts of the world, few people are aware of the history and its association with the Native American culture.
One thing that did not change among the different tribes, even when they introduced variations to their traditional clothing, was the moccasins: tanned leather sewn to form a kind of strong shoe.
Native Americans were skilled hunters and great patrons of reducing and recycling waste.
They wanted to devise a way use the tough leftover hide from the hunt, and as it was too hard to be used for clothing, it was used for durable Moccasin slippers, stitched together with sinew.
While the technique to create them remained similar across the tribes, their patterns started to look slightly different. Aesthetics and personal creativity apart, this was one way of knowing distinctively an individual’s tribal affiliation, so much so, that even the groups were specifically named after their respective moccasin style!
Moccasin makers referred to their own tribal customs to determine the fringes or beadwork to decorate and design them, while retaining their originality and uniqueness. While some resorted to hand painting to show off bright colors through natural sceneries, others still attempted to distinguish themselves with the cut of their moccasins. Differences were also created when tribes began using rawhide for the durability of their soles,, compared to those who preferred lining their leather moccasins with sheepskin (or previously with rabbit fur) to keep their feet warm.
Indian women took the moccasins to a whole new level by creating moccasin boots, a beautiful one-piece look created by sewing the moccasins to their leggings.
On the other hand, the European settlers valued them for what they were: protective footwear that’s additionally snug and warm, molding easily to the foot size.
All the elements that go into the hide start from mother earth make the hides a stronger source of foot wear.
Then with the indigenous skill that are added to each pair make them so amazing.