2 / 2002

Montana - Sioux bearpaw ankleboots with claws

Comparatively rare footwear, which does not fit into the normal moccasin types worn by the Plains Indians include those made from the leg skin of caribou or moose. The skin is cut open (but not tanned or dressed), folded double and made into the shape of a shoe or a boot by means of a seam running along each side. More evolved variations of this type exist with moccasin features as well. There are also the tubular boots made from animals' legs, which have no seam, except where the hoof or paw has been removed. A good example is the ankleboot shown here made of the hide of a bear's paw. The claws are left on for decoration. The skin ties are laced through the upper and tied horizontally.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland