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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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NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED BUCKSKIN TWO PIECE OUTFIT
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED BUCKSKIN TWO PIECE OUTFIT
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1307 Bids
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BRIDGET EAGLE FEATHER LAKOTA STYLE BLACK WAR BONNET SOCIETY SHIELD
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
BRIDGET EAGLE FEATHER LAKOTA STYLE BLACK WAR BONNET SOCIETY SHIELD
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$357 Bids
Painted & Quilled Northern Plains Leggings
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Painted & Quilled Northern Plains Leggings
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$804 Bids
Vintage Native American Indian "Black War Bonnet Robe"
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Vintage Native American Indian "Black War Bonnet Robe"
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$904 Bids
Beaded & Painted Leggings
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Beaded & Painted Leggings
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$704 Bids
Beaded War Shirt
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Beaded War Shirt
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$2004 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN STYLE WAR SHIRT
Nov 26, 9:00 AM MST
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN STYLE WAR SHIRT
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $150- $200
$104 Bids
Man’s Western Style Hide Shirt
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Man’s Western Style Hide Shirt
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$603 Bids
Beaded War Shirt
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Beaded War Shirt
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1003 Bids
Beaded & Painted Leggings
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Beaded & Painted Leggings
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$503 Bids
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VINTAGE FRATERNAL SOCIETY NATIVE AMERICAN COSTUME
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
VINTAGE FRATERNAL SOCIETY NATIVE AMERICAN COSTUME
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN STYLE WAR SHIRT
Nov 26, 9:00 AM MST
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN STYLE WAR SHIRT
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $150- $200
$103 Bids
20th c. Native Canadian Yupik Fur-Lined Moccasin Boots
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
20th c. Native Canadian Yupik Fur-Lined Moccasin Boots
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1002 Bids
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NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED CARD POUCH & BABY MOCCASINS
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED CARD POUCH & BABY MOCCASINS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
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MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S DEERSKIN LEATHER MOCCASINS
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S DEERSKIN LEATHER MOCCASINS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Dan Chapman Vintage Native American Buckskin Shirt and Saddle
Dec 03, 11:00 AM EST
Dan Chapman Vintage Native American Buckskin Shirt and Saddle
by Northgate Gallery
Est: $100- $25,000
$1252 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN STYLE WAR SHIRT
Nov 26, 9:00 AM MST
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN STYLE WAR SHIRT
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $150- $200
$152 Bids
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MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S DEERSKIN LEATHER MOCCASINS
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S DEERSKIN LEATHER MOCCASINS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
Man’s Painted Hide Vest
Dec 10, 9:30 AM EST
Man’s Painted Hide Vest
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$602 Bids
PR OF SIOUX QUILLED & BEADED MOCCASINS C 1890
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
PR OF SIOUX QUILLED & BEADED MOCCASINS C 1890
by Jackson's International
Est: $350- $500
$3001 Bid
SIOUX QUILLED AND BEADED MOCCASINS C 1900
Dec 14, 9:00 AM CST
SIOUX QUILLED AND BEADED MOCCASINS C 1900
by Jackson's International
Est: $350- $500
$3001 Bid
Native American Indian Hand Carved Catlinite Small Moccasins
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
Native American Indian Hand Carved Catlinite Small Moccasins
by Thriftiques of Iowa
Est: $10- $1,000
$101 Bid
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MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S TIPI FUR TRIM MOCCASINS
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S TIPI FUR TRIM MOCCASINS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
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MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S TIPI FUR TRIM MOCCASINS
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
MANITOBAH MUKLUKS WOMEN'S TIPI FUR TRIM MOCCASINS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Clothing & Moccasins


Bradford's

Bradford's

Jackson's International

Jackson's International

Davis Brothers Auction

Davis Brothers Auction