Native american


Artist: A. Seniontha
Culture/People: Slavey-Athapaskan
Media: Wool, smoked moose and beaver hide, cloth, and beads
Dims: 12.5 x 10.5 x 10.75 in. (31.7 x 26.6 x 27.3 cm)
Date: c. 1986
RTC No: NA0480ab
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


Ralph T. Coe wrote about this pair of mukluks saying,

The bright blue field with red trim, together with the variegated floral beadwork, gives this pair of mukluks a cheerfulness. One has to picture these mukluks as saved for celebrations and for major festivities.

The mukluks, unfortunately, were damaged by moth activity, and so The next year (1990), I tossed the moccasins in my Blazer [truck] to see if I could possibly find someone “up north” who could bring them back to their former pristine character.


At the Alberta Indian Friendship Center, in High Level, I found my first opportunity to locate a person who could understand the problem and repair these mukluks magnificently. The young woman who answered my inquiry at the Center became interested, and said immediately, “Oh, yes, we have Elders at Assumption [Chateh] down the road” (a few miles west of High Level), “who would be glad to repair them.” When I told her that was exactly where this pair came from in the first place, the deal was made. The beaver fur was replaced with better fur than what had been originally sewn on. They also agreed to remove the commercial hide from the foot and soles, replacing them with traditionally tanned hide. The result was a finer pair than I had bought originally in Edmonton.

In September in Santa Fe, I received the moccasins by mail, returned in perfect shape. I wrote a complimentary thank you note to Olive, my contact at the Friendship Center, and to the artist who did the repair, Louise Boucher. I will always remain respectful of the care and interest shown by these Assumption [Chateh], Alberta Native conservators!

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