Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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katreth “moccasins”
Language: Lower Tanana

My husband’s grandmother, she used to do a lot of beadwork and she was fast. And she said when she first started doing beadwork, she used sinew a lot. When she was older, she started using thread, and she used to tack down every bead. I said “Grandma, you could skip and do every other one.” She said, “No, that’s not the way to do it.” You know, in our language. She said, “Don’t try to take shortcuts!”

—Eliza Jones, 2004

Round-toed slippers, often trimmed with rabbit or other fur, are a popular contemporary fashion and often worn for dancing. Each of these Tanana slippers from the 1920s was stitched together from two pattern pieces of soft-tanned moose or caribou skin. The beaded floral designs are in an “old-time” style, recognized in part by the way the stems connect to the flowers instead of being slightly separated.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Tanana River, Alaska
Village: Nenana
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 26cm
Accession Date: 1963
Source: Mrs. Ludlow Bull (donor)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 233079.000