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American Indian Clothing & Moccasins

The impressive variety of clothing that comes out of the American Indian tradition adds to our shared understanding of North American history. Featuring innovative design complemented with elaborate beadwork and quillwork decoration, American Indian clothing and moccasins best showcase this variety and date back to their culture’s earliest eras.

American Indian clothing began by following simple patterns that could be adapted from the natural dimensions of an animals hide. Early women’s dresses, for example, were derived from a hide that was basically folded in half to create an almost A-line silhouette. A similar simplicity underwrote the development of the moccasin, also conjured from animal skins, which wrapped around the foot, offering protection from outdoor elements while also being adequately lightweight to allow the wearer to run (if necessary).

While these styles were simple in nature, there decoration was anything but: elaborate beadwork often adorned war shirts, dresses and moccasins. Some of this rich beadwork was pure decoration, but in other instances these designs served as a reflection of the wearer. Accordingly, collecting these artifacts today gives insight into American Indian culture, both from the universal and the personal level.


Quick Facts

  • The word “moccasin” is derived from various American Indian tongues; the Ojibwa equivalent, “makizin,” and the Algonquin “makasin,” for example, are the root of “moccasin” and both translate roughly to “shoe”
  • The record sale price for a bead-embroidered war shirt was set in May 2011 at a Sotheby’s auction. Once the property of Black Bird, a noted chief of the Sioux tribe, the Oglala Sioux Beaded and Fringed Hide War Shirt sold for $2,658,500
  • Just as different figures within a tribe might port different decorative designs, clothing styles and motifs differed between tribal groups

Recommended Items at Auction

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Sioux Indian “101 Ranch” Beaded War Shirt
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Sioux Indian “101 Ranch” Beaded War Shirt
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$55013 Bids
UNKNOWN ARTIST - Beaded Moccasins
Apr 28, 1:00 PM CST
UNKNOWN ARTIST - Beaded Moccasins
by Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting
Est: $80- $100
$1107 Bids
American Indian Leather Fur Bead Moccasins 2pc LOT
Apr 17, 12:00 PM EDT
American Indian Leather Fur Bead Moccasins 2pc LOT
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$206 Bids
PAIR MENS SIOUX QUILLED & BEADED MOCCASINS
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
PAIR MENS SIOUX QUILLED & BEADED MOCCASINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $250- $500
$3505 Bids
Kissing Otter Trade Gorget
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Kissing Otter Trade Gorget
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$604 Bids
Beaded Sioux Leggings
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Beaded Sioux Leggings
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$904 Bids
Native American Three-Color Woven Hat
Apr 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Native American Three-Color Woven Hat
by Devin Moisan Auctioneers, Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1503 Bids
A pair of Sioux beaded hide moccasins
Apr 17, 9:00 AM PDT
A pair of Sioux beaded hide moccasins
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $150- $250
$1803 Bids
Indian Trade Gorget “Trade Silver”
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Indian Trade Gorget “Trade Silver”
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1003 Bids
GOOD PAIR CROW BEADED LEGGINGS, CIRCA 1890
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
GOOD PAIR CROW BEADED LEGGINGS, CIRCA 1890
by Jackson's International
Est: $150- $250
$1302 Bids
PAIR MENS PLAINS BEADED MOCCASINS
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
PAIR MENS PLAINS BEADED MOCCASINS
by Jackson's International
Est: $250- $500
$2252 Bids
A PLAINS STYLE QUILLED WAR SHIRT
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
A PLAINS STYLE QUILLED WAR SHIRT
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $300
$1602 Bids
Beaded Blackfeet Pipe Bag
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Beaded Blackfeet Pipe Bag
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$302 Bids
Beaded Cree Indian Buckskin Jacket
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Beaded Cree Indian Buckskin Jacket
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$202 Bids
Two pairs of Plains hide gauntlets
Apr 17, 9:00 AM PDT
Two pairs of Plains hide gauntlets
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $70- $90
$602 Bids
SIXTEEN SINGLE BEADED MOCCASINS, C. 1880-1915
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
SIXTEEN SINGLE BEADED MOCCASINS, C. 1880-1915
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $400
$1601 Bid
WINNEBAGO RIBBON WORK SKIRT & BLOUSE, C. 1930'S
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
WINNEBAGO RIBBON WORK SKIRT & BLOUSE, C. 1930'S
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $300
$1601 Bid
Navajo Indian Vest
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Navajo Indian Vest
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
Sioux Mans Moccasins
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Sioux Mans Moccasins
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
2 pairs of Beaded Moccasins
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
2 pairs of Beaded Moccasins
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
PAIR FULLY BEADED NATIVE AMERICAN MOCCASINS.
Apr 17, 10:00 AM EDT
PAIR FULLY BEADED NATIVE AMERICAN MOCCASINS.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
PAIR OF WOMENS BEADED MOCASSINS, C. 1900-1920
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
PAIR OF WOMENS BEADED MOCASSINS, C. 1900-1920
by Jackson's International
Est: $200- $300
$1601 Bid
A SIOUX MAN'S BEADED HIDE VEST, C. 1890
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
A SIOUX MAN'S BEADED HIDE VEST, C. 1890
by Jackson's International
Est: $800- $1,200
$6001 Bid
American Indian Wool Leather Fringe Chap Leggings
Apr 17, 12:00 PM EDT
American Indian Wool Leather Fringe Chap Leggings
by MiddleManBrokers
Est: $1- $1,000
$11 Bid

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Clothing & Moccasins


Jackson's International

Jackson's International

Hindman

Hindman

Hermann Historica GmbH

Hermann Historica GmbH