mitemhsa ataahsema ‘Woman’s leggings’

Myaamia mitemhsa ataahsema ‘Woman’s leggings’, 1870-1880
Wool and silk with glass beads
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 221942.000

These leggings are unique because we do not know anything about the family who produced them. Leggings are worn by tying a small strap from the loop at the top of each legging to the wearer’s belt. The makers of these leggings likely would have produced a decorated wrap skirt and moccasins in a way that the ensemble would match. Women’s leggings are shorter than men’s because a wrap skirt typically comes down to just below the knee. The image of Oonsaahšinihkwa, on the wall to the right, demonstrates how women in our community produced skirts, leggings, and moccasins that played off of each other to wrap their loved one in waawaahsinaahkwahki ‘shimmering’.