Leggings, Moccasins & Bag, ca. 1880
These items were acquired into my family around 1910 out of the Oklahoma area. As the story goes, a great uncle acquired the items as a shoe salesman. Whether he bartered or traded for the items I'm not quite sure.
Well, it's interesting that you said Oklahoma, because Oklahoma was known as Indian Territory, and was where a lot of the different tribes from all over the country were all banished in the 19th century. One of the tribes that were already in that area were the Kiowa tribe. And some of these items are from the Kiowa tribe. One pair of moccasins here is from the Delaware tribe, which of course was from Delaware, but were sent out there in the 1830s. And they...consequently their style of beadwork and their decoration influenced the Kiowa a great deal. You do notice that this Delaware moccasin design is somewhat similar to this design that's found in this Kiowa bag. And it's quite interesting to see how wonderful their clothing was. This is a good example, these leggings that are just fully fringed, and would have covered the entire leg all the way up into the top of their leg. And this whole flap here would have opened up and flapped as they walked. And this would just be a great deal of movement associated with their walking and so forth. You can also see this in their moccasins, which had this fringe attached to the back. This is what we call dusters. And the neat thing about this is the legend has it, or tradition has it, that as they wore these moccasins, these trailed behind them and wiped out their footprints. And this may have had the same idea here, that it kind of erased their footprints as they walked. Kind of neat. Kiowa material happens to be my favorite material, and it's characterized by its style of beadwork, but also by great use of paint. You can see these leggings are painted yellow and green. And also by rolled fringe. They took two pieces of fringe, or three, and rolled them, and made this very tight, twisted fringe. You also see that on this strike-a-light here. This is called a strike-a-light. It was worn as a belt pouch, and it carried all the flint and striking materials in order to make fire. Value wise, these moccasins, for instance, there's a lot of collectors out there that would love to have these, and they could expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,500, $7,500 possibly even for these moccasins.
This particular pair of leggings is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,500 to $5,500. This strike-a-light is worth, again, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,500. And these moccasins are worth $3,000 to $4,000. So you've got a great collection of stuff. Doesn't always turn out this well when people have a collection of Indian material. That shoe salesman happened to pick up a few good bargains back then.
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