Mukluks

Mukluks

Beaded mukluks made of moosehide with brown fur on back and two hide fringes running vertically down either side of front upper

Green and red beaded floral design on front upper and vamp.

Traditionally, Southern Tutchone people wore moccasin-trousers, a garment that incorporated pants and shoes. After non-Native contact, Yukon First Nations quickly converted to wearing European style clothing. However, in winter mukluks were preferred over European footwear. The soft soles of the mukluks made for easier snowshoeing.

The term mukluk is borrowed from the Inuit. Generally it conveys the idea of Native footwear in the style of a high winter boot. These mukluks are heavily decorated with beading, hide fringes, and fur pom-poms. Pre-European contact decorations included dyed porcupine quills, the spins of feathers or stylized moose hair tufts. These embellishments are substituted for a more current style.

Since the Second World War, First Nations women have often used extensive beading or trimmings such as pom-poms to meet demands of tourists and service men. These mukluks are exquisitely stitched and beaded by Mary Jacquot (1900-1996). Mary Jacquot was the daughter of Copper Joe and the grand daughter to the great Copper Chief from the White River Area. As an elder she often shared stories and oral histories so that the people would not forget them.

Institution

Kluane Museum of History, Burwash Landing

Accession Number

1975.4.a

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