Mementos from North America

This is a Yorkshire World Collections object, one of 100 chosen by young people aged 16-24, as part of the London Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World.


These North American Indian beaded child’s moccasins are from the late 19th Century. The have red material on the cuffs known as 'trade cloth'.

In the 1880s and 1890s many people from Lincolnshire emigrated to America and Canada in response to groups such as the Methodists advertising for settlers. These items were collected together by a carpenter from Worlaby in North Lincolnshire who answered the call and moved to America. Unlike many of his neighbours, he came home again, bringing with him mementos of his time abroad. 


The moccasins, together with other items of clothing, shoes, a tomahawk and a pipe represent the links between Lincolnshire and the New World, made when people from Lincolnshire emigrated to America and Canada in the late 19th Century. The collection is held at North Lincolnshire Museum.
 

Curriculum Links:

Science KS2: Everyday materials
History KS2: Local history study

History KS3: The first colony in America
Art and Design KS2: Craft makers and designers.

Young person's response to this object:

I like the detail achieved with the beads and the colour contrast,
using yellow and orange against blue. The use of suede real animal
skin, the skill needed for this is impressive. Steph Webb


Discussion ideas:

  • How are these shoes different from ones children might wear today?
  • What type of footwear do we use today that are most similar to these moccasins?
  • How long do you think it would take to make a pair of moccasins like this?  Does this affect their value, do you think?

Activity ideas:

  • Design a pair of moccasins for a five year old.
  • Search on this website for other objects worn or used by North American Indians and build a picture (either drawn or written) about what life used to be like for native Indians over 100 years ago. Here are some links that will help you. Sioux Indian Knife, Beaded Purse, Sioux Warrior Shirt.
North American Indian beaded children's moccasins