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Moccasins more than just footwear, workshop participants learn

Moccasins more than just footwear, workshop participants learn



dq-rock-mocs8When you don a pair of moccasins, you are doing more than putting on footwear.

You are protecting your sacred footprints. You are celebrating man’s evolution from barefoot animal to civilized being. You are making sure the Holy People are watching your feet on the Corn Pollen Path.

About 20 participants in the Navajo Nation Museum’s Rock Your Mocs celebration Tuesday learned all that plus how to make a pair of traditional moccasins.

Held during “Rock Your Mocs Week,” the 2013 brainchild of Laguna Pueblo member Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye, the museum’s celebration focused in on Navajo moccasins, explained museum curator Clarenda Begaye.

Like just about everything in Navajo culture, Begay explained, moccasins have their own stories and songs.

As he showed participants how to draw around their feel on a piece of rawhide to make the soles, then sew the soles to a deerskin upper, Diné cultural expert James Peshlakai, 70, gave his take on moccasins.

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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at


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