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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 Sioux Antique Beaded Leather Moccasins c. 19th to Early 20th Century
Jun 15, 12:00 PM EDT
Native American Sioux Antique Beaded Leather Moccasins c. 19th to Early 20th Century
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $800- $1,200
$15011 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN STYLE GHOST DANCE SHIRT
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
NATIVE AMERICAN STYLE GHOST DANCE SHIRT
by Turquoise Mountain Auctions
Est: $1,100- $1,400
$18011 Bids
Cherokee Grey Trade Coat Wool/Trade Cloth
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Cherokee Grey Trade Coat Wool/Trade Cloth
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$706 Bids
3 13/16” Banded Slate Gorget
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
3 13/16” Banded Slate Gorget
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
Native American beaded buckskin moccasins 4"H x 3 1/2"W x 10 1/2"D
Jun 20, 11:00 AM EDT
Native American beaded buckskin moccasins 4"H x 3 1/2"W x 10 1/2"D
by Ripley Auctions
Est: $50- $100
$402 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN CEREMONIAL LEATHER JINGLE SKIRT
Jun 15, 11:00 AM EDT
NATIVE AMERICAN CEREMONIAL LEATHER JINGLE SKIRT
by Turquoise Mountain Auctions
Est: $675- $1,200
$302 Bids
PLATEAU GAUNTLETS NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED GLOVES
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
PLATEAU GAUNTLETS NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED GLOVES
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $120- $240
$302 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN PLAINS INDIAN BEADED HIDE CHILD'S MOCCASINS, THREE PAIRS
Jun 21, 9:00 AM EDT
NATIVE AMERICAN PLAINS INDIAN BEADED HIDE CHILD'S MOCCASINS, THREE PAIRS
by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
PR NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED MAN'S MOCCASINS
Jun 29, 11:00 AM EDT
PR NATIVE AMERICAN BEADED MAN'S MOCCASINS
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5001 Bid
Gorget
Jun 23, 1:00 PM CDT
Gorget
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$100 Bids
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Antique Armenian Beaded Moccasins
Jun 16, 2:00 PM PDT
Antique Armenian Beaded Moccasins
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$4500 Bids
5 native American hand made children's moccasins.
Jun 30, 12:00 PM EDT
5 native American hand made children's moccasins.
by South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.
Est: $100- $500
$200 Bids
Ojibwe Pucker Toe Beaded Moccasins ca. 1930s Approximately 10" long x 4" wide
Jun 20, 11:00 AM EDT
Ojibwe Pucker Toe Beaded Moccasins ca. 1930s Approximately 10" long x 4" wide
by Ripley Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$500 Bids
Antique Cheyenne Moccasins, ca. 1900 9 1/2" long x 3 1/2" wide x 4" high
Jun 20, 11:00 AM EDT
Antique Cheyenne Moccasins, ca. 1900 9 1/2" long x 3 1/2" wide x 4" high
by Ripley Auctions
Est: $800- $900
$3000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Clothing & Moccasins


Ripley Auctions

Ripley Auctions

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates