—Moccasins are made with hard soles and soft deerskin uppers. The soles are cut from rawhide or the tanned, thick, neckskin of the deer, which is exceptionally strong and heavy. These soles, after shaping
and puckering, come well up at toe and sides. The man's brown moccasin is usually made from a one-piece upper which overlaps at the outside of the leg. It is tied with thongs or buttoned with small silver conchs of Navaho workmanship. This moccasin is high, reaching several inches above the ankle (pl. 35). Another type has a two-piece upper (p1. 8), one piece being sewn to the sole from instep to instep around the toe, covering the front of the foot and making a tongue. The second piece is sewn around the heel and then wrapped about the ankle. This piece also overlaps on the outside of the foot and is tied with two or three thongs. The top is turned down to make a cuff with the longer tab outside, concealing the opening. To add a decorative touch an extra flap may be sewn in front to the lower edge of this wrapped piece.
The special Hopi and Zuñi dance moccasin is made in this latter pattern, with turquoise blue paint covering the body of the footgear, the cuff and added piece in front being stained red or yellow. The sole is painted black and highly polished. Among the Rio Grande Pueblos the ceremonial moccasins are whitened with kaolin, which makes a strong contrast with the shiny black soles (p1. 20). Occasionally, lower moccasins are worn. These fit snugly and barely cover the ankle (pl. 25). They are sometimes beaded, and are obtained by purchase from the Plains tribes.
In ceremonial dress, heelpieces are worn with the moccasins. At Hopi a fringed piece of red-brown deerskin is secured around the ankle. It is worn by dancing Kachinas as well as the Snake Priests, whose entire costume is blended harmoniously with the red-brown skin. Solid, rectangular pieces of leather; or pieces slit and wound with different-colored yarns, or porcupine quills and horsehair; or strips of buffalo, bear, or skunk fur—all are tied about the ankle and knotted over the instep with one or two thongs. The skunk fur is said to keep the evil spirits from entering the body of the dancer by way of the earth, and it is the only part of a dancer's costume which symbolizes death.
Patterned like the two-piece footgear of the men, the women's moccasins are white with black soles. They have a high ankle flap, very long because it consists of a whole, white, tanned deerskin. This is wrapped many times, spirally, about the leg and ends well above the knee, and is held in place by a well-tied thong of buckskin. The many folds give these moccasins a clumsy look, but they make the feet appear very small and dainty. The size of the moccasin leg indicates the wealth of the Pueblo woman. The deerskin is whitened with a wash of kaolin which approximates our white shoe cleaner. It is considered fashionable, among the Keres and the Tewa, to stain the toes of these moccasins pink or red.
At Taos, and frequently among the Tewa, one other form of woman's moccasin is seen. It is a kind of boot with a hard black sole and an upper
made of two pieces of deerskin sewed together with seams on each side. The top comes up very wide from the ankle, and from the side gives an appearance of flatness. The width depends upon the size of the skins and the wealth of the individual who purchases them. There are from two to five pleats of the skin above the ankle, around which is a drawstring of
deerskin. As the soles wear through, a pleat is loosened and the top pulled down to sew on the new soles. A pair of moccasins made for a woman at the time of her marriage will last her the rest of her life.