‘Moccasin’ is an Indigenous term for shoe or slipper, and ‘mukluks’ for boots. As cool weather approaches, it’s a great time to get cozy in indoor or outdoor footwear made by hand from natural leathers and furs. All our footwear is made in Canada by Aboriginal artisans.
All of the Moccasins for men and women on Cheryl’s Trading Post are 100% Aboriginally made in Canada. See our full selection of Moccasins at Cheryl’s Trading Post!
(The photo above features our Traditional Moosehide Moccasins. These slippers takes dozens of hours to smoke and cut the moosehide and then hand bead the intricate design. The slipper is then accented with traditionally trapped beaver fur.)
We carry moccasins by two Native companies in Eastern Canada that produce in small shops from commercially tanned deer, moose, sheep, and cowhide. They make comfortable, long lasting slippers, as well as shoes with outdoor soles, and winter fashion boots.
We also have specialty moccasins handmade and beaded at home by Dene Native artists, from home-tanned moosehide. Native hide tanning is a long, laborious and difficult job, but the result is a product of the highest quality.
The first step to creating moosehide moccasins is to hunt, kill, gut and skin a moose, and cut up and preserve the meat.
Next, the hide is immersed in a fast-flowing cold stream and weighed down with heavy stones. After three days, the hide (it may weigh over 100 lbs) is draped over a large log where the meat and hair is scraped off. When that's completed, the hide is soaked overnight then stretched tightly on a frame to dry for a few days.
(The above photo features our Kanada Moccasins, which are part of a special collection that features artist-designed beadwork. Rosa Scribe (Cree, Norway House) designed the distinctive 'snowflake' pattern for the vamp and receives a portion of every sale.)
Next in the tanning process, a solution of the animal's brains mixed with warm water is prepared, then worked into both sides of the hide over and over while the hide is being further scraped and massaged to make it soft and pliable. The final step is to hang the hide on conical frame and smoke both sides with coals of rotten wood for a day to colour and waterproof it.
This description is very simplified. It's more than a week of hard work for two people to tan a moosehide! Then the pieces of hide are cut and beaded, then sewn together and lined with fur.
Questions about our moccasin or mukluk products, or want to place a custom order? We'd love to hear from you, and tell you more about the indigenous craftsman we work with. Contact us by email at: [email protected] or call us: 1-604-538-5008.