New Boots

By First Nations Artist Nokomis

This was the day we got our new boots.

Mom had made them from a moose hide that she'd spent more than a week tanning during the Fall hunting season. The boots were trimmed with strips of beaver fur (which she also trapped and tanned) and they were decorated with beads sewn onto black velveteen which was attached to the vamp.

We wore heavy wool hand knit socks and, if the footwear was made too large so that we would have to grow into it, we also used an felt inner sole to take up some of the toe room.

My brother and I are rushing outside to test the quality of our mother's workmanship... we want to see how far we can slide!

Nowadays when little children (boys particularly) get a new pair of running shoes I see them sprinting out of the store and racing down the shopping mall to test how well the shoe brings them to a screeching halt!

Our test of quality footwear was the exact opposite. The further we could slide the better the boots.

My boots were always the best.

It took my younger brother years and years to figure out that I only slid further because I was older and heavier.

You can leave me with my new boots and nasty ways and go home or you can read on . . .

Here's some more stories by Nokomis...