Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row, Chief of the Generethgarich, (Iroquois) originally painted by John Verelst during the chief's visit to London in 1710. The portrait was commissioned by Queen Anne.
© CORBIS

Miami Chief Little Turtle, early 19th century.
© Ohio Historical Society

North America

Woodlands

The word moccasin is originally an Algonquian term and means, “to be gathered”. A “moccasin” is defined as a shoe in which the soft sole and upper are continuous. There are different types of moccasins as outlined in the Museum's typology booklet. It was this type of footwear which early European explorers first commented on and collected as they encountered the indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands and Great Lakes regions. Some of the oldest moccasins in the Bata Shoe Museum's collection come from the Iroquois and Huron cultures. They were famous for their very fine porcupine quillwork and moose hair embroidery, which they used to decorate their moccasins in the 18th and early 19th century. Later they became experts in decorating their moccasins with beads. The Bata Shoe Museum is fortunate to have several pairs of extremely rare 18th century quillwork examples.