Of all the designs and interpretations over the past couple of centuries, several distinct features of the moccasin have endured, along with their cultural significance.
Genuine, Natural HidesIndigenous communities have always had a spiritual connection with animals in nature. It is believed that animal spirits present themselves to humans as an aid to their survival, providing meat for food, skins and furs for warmth, and bones and horns for tools. Gratitude was shown by not wasting any part of the beast.
Each animal has a sacred symbolism, and rituals of respect and gratitude continue to be held in tribes today in honour of their gifts. indigenous peoples have always been careful not to over-hunt and deplete or interfere with the natural life cycles of the animal species.
Hand CraftsmanshipTraditionally, moccasins were made by hand, sewn with sinew, and decorated according to tribal customs and preferences.
Gathered ToeThe signature detail of the moccasin we know today is its gathered toe. Believed to originate with Ojibwe tribes, it is created by sewing a U-shaped soft leather upper or “vamp” to the bottom of the shoe or sole, with a distinctive puckered stitch. The high placement of this stitching kept the seam joining the hides away from the ground, helping the moccasins to stay warm and dry.
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Traditional moccasins have a long, living history that continues to evolve. Laurentian Chief commemorates that history by employing ancient techniques and materials and blending them with contemporary comfort and style.