Skip Navigation

Pair of Puckered Moccasins

Arts of the Americas

The Jarvis Collection of Native American Plains Art

The articles in this case and the adjacent clothing case are some of the earliest and finest Eastern Plains pieces in existence. They were collected by Dr. Nathan Sturges Jarvis, a military surgeon stationed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, between 1833 and 1836. He purchased some of the objects, while some may have been given in exchange for his medical services. These works display indigenous people’s ingenuity in combining trade materials such as cloth, metal, and glass beads with traditional hides, red pipestone, and porcupine and bird quills.
CULTURE Eastern, Sioux
MEDIUM Smoked buckskin, deer skin, deer hair, porcupine quills, copper
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 4 x 11 in. (10.2 x 27.9 cm)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pair of moccasins constructed with smoked buckskin that is gathered into a series of small folds or "puckers" by seams running from the area above the toes to the area below the ankle. The seams are decorated by quillwork made up of orange lines and centered white and dark purple triangles crossed by a series of four additional linear designs. The seams of the heel are decorated in simple configured quillwork bands of white, light blue, and dark purple crosses. Cuffs are added onto the moccasins as separate semi-circular pieces of deerskin with quilled borders containing an undulating dark purple band and several straight lines. Metal cones, stuffed with dyed red deer hair are suspended from the edges of the cuffs.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.