ataahsema neehi mahkisina ‘Leggings and moccasins’

ataahsema neehi mahkisina ‘Leggings and moccasins’, 19th century
Leggings: wool, silk and glass beads
Moccasins: smoked deerskin, silk and glass beads
Collection of The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Ontario
Photo courtesy of the National
Museum of the American Indian,
Smithsonian Institution

These were made by the family of Mihšihkinaahkwa ‘Little Turtle’ and are seen here worn by his second great-grandson Waapimaankwa ‘Anthony Rivarre’ in the photo. Seated on the left in this photo is Kiilhsoohkwa, Waapimaankwa’s mother. Kiilhsoohkwa may have been one of the seamstresses who made these beautiful works of art. These are a rare surviving example of complementary leggings and moccasins. They demonstrate how the geometric designs on the moccasin flaps blend with the designs on the legging flaps and cuffs. It is not known how these objects left Kiilhsoohkwa’s family, but in 2000 a guest brought them on the television show Antiques Roadshow. Shortly after, they were purchased by the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. This exhibit marks the first time our community has been able to view these objects in person.