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Cheyenne moccasins.

I'm writing for two reasons: A) to congratulate you on the fine issue of Whispering Wind (Vol 35 # 2). It is a beauty from the front and back covers to everything in between. Outstanding photography and fascinating text, especially Ephriam Dickson's German silver cross article and Mike Kostelnik's excellent analysis of another pair of Cheyenne moccasins. Which brings me to my second reason for writing; B) the Mike Kostelnik moccasin challenge; were they intended for men's or women's wear?

As soon as I saw the pair under consideration I was reminded of a pair of Cheyenne women's boots in the Denver Art Museum which are pictured on page 96 of Circles of the World by Richard Conn (Denver Art Museum, 1982). The layout of beadwork lanes on the vamp of these boots is precisely the same as on the moccasins Mike discusses in the current (Vol 35 # 2) WW issue.

There are five contiguous lanes divided into two sections, the section nearest the instep being somewhat smaller on both pairs of moccasins. These smaller design areas are likewise both beaded with contrasting light/dark stripes of color. The more forward design area on the pair in Circles of the World has additional contrasting stripes of color, as opposed to the Thunderbird design on those analyzed by Mike. And finally, the vamp beadwork on both pairs of moccasins is finished off with a transverse lane across the front edge of the beaded area.

As Richard Green and Mike point out, the contrasting stripes in the vamp beadwork on these moccasins refers to the old "military" stripe tradition, which in turn makes us think of Cheyenne women's leggings and Cheyenne pipebags. Since the boots in Circles of the World were unquestionably made for r a woman and since there are so many similarities with the pair Mike discusses, I'm thinking that, Thunderbird not withstanding, the latter pair were also made for a woman. A sample population of one is pretty small to be basing a conclusion on, but that is my educated hunch.

Thanks again for a great magazine.

Lew Richards

Lubec, ME

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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Richards, Lew
Publication:Whispering Wind
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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