M16946.1-2 | Slippers

Anonyme - Anonymous
Eastern Woodlands
Aboriginal: Huron-Wendat
1820-1900, 19th century
Leather, hide, wool cloth, linen cloth, moosehair, silk ribbon, cotton thread, sinew?, dyes
5.1 x 7.8 x 24.5 cm
Gift of the Misses Lambe
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Slippers (14)
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Keys to History

By the second half of the 19th century, intercultural exchanges were becoming a major influence on Huron-Wendat footwear production. In addition to making moccasins, the women starting producing a style of soft shoe resembling the little ankle boots worn by North American non-Aboriginal women. The artisans of Wendake decorated the evening shoes they produced with wonderful floral motifs embroidered in moosehair.

The cultural exchanges between Aboriginal people and North Americans of European descent were very rich. They were reflected in a thousand and one ways, with footwear as well as with utilitarian and luxury objects purchased by the well-to-do to decorate their homes.

  • What

    These flat shoes lined with beige leather are made of red cloth embroidered with moosehair (a Huron-Wendat adaptation).

  • Where

    The embroidery embellishing these shoes, of Euro-Canadian styling, was done in the village of Wendake.

  • When

    The artisanal production of the Huron-Wendat was greatly influenced by Victorian fashion.

  • Who

    Elegant shoes like these ones, decorated by the skilled hands of a Huron-Wendat woman, were worn by the well-to-do. Several people in present-day Wendake think that the shoes themselves were not made there, but rather were shipped to the community by a manufacturer for decoration.