Native American


Artist: Rowena Blackjack
Culture/People: Tutchone, Carmacks Band
Place: Yukon, Canada
Media: Leather, fur, and beads
Dims: 16 x 7 11.25 in. (50 x 18 x 28 cm)
Date: 1988
RTC No: NA0478
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


In 1988, Ted drove 2960 miles along the Transcontinental Highway to find these mukluks in Carmacks, Yukon. Leaving Carmacks he would drive 1095 miles to Fairbanks and then down to Anchorage, taking a combination of ferries and highways returning to New Mexico. Ted drove these trips with friend and fellow collector, Casey Jones who would eventually endow the Nelson-Atkins Museum Native arts programs and permanent installation. This would not be first or last time Ted drove this way.

“Although keeping a lookout for a monumental pair of mukluks, I did not come upon anything after leaving Whitehorse, until arriving just under 300 miles further north along the Yukon at the fuel stop and accommodation center of the village of Carmacks. I put up in the one motel which was as comfortable as anything hundreds of miles further south and dinner consisted of burgers, fries, and pie, and that was the limit of the menu, unless you wanted a hot dog. I had found in the shop out on the main road, this pair, which has double soles for extra strength and warmth. I suspect they were just freshly made, because the beaver pelt trim is finer. [No doubt too, the new pair of mukluks smelled wonderfully of freshly smoked tanned moose hide] …the floral bouquets of the center panel and vamps appear like early flowers popping through the late snow.” —Ted Coe

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