This is the right-foot moccasin from pair of child's moccasins that have been constructed with a rawhide sole and a buckskin upper. The ankle flap has a serated upper edge and is sewn on separately. The ankle manufactured from one piece of buckskin. A leather lace is strung through a slit in the ankle. The tongue is sewn on separately and the top edge has a ragged edge.
On March 16, 2015 during a NAGPRA collections review, designated tribal representatives from the three Ute tribes informed History Colorado staff that these moccasins most likely belonged to a female (probably a girl because of the small size), as indicated by the higher ankle flaps, which were designed for additional protection. Tribal representatives also noted the segmented design of the beadwork around the edges of the moccasins. This segmented design is typical of Ute design.
10/20/11 S. Goff: Accession record indicates one moccasin was cleaned, which may be the reason for the difference in color. Also, record describes this as U-shaped central figure and border.
Thomas McKee (1854-1930)
Thomas M. McKee was born in Kentucky, but grew up in Nashville, TN. He trained as a photographer, but also often worked as a railroad express messenger and had interests in paleontology. He found his way to Montrose, CO in 1890 to set up a photography studio. He is believed to be one of the first photographers to take X-ray pictures. He introduced western Colorado to moving pictures in 1895.
He photographed Mesa Verde and much of the local mining activity. In the early 1900s he turned his interests to documenting the daily lives of Ute people in photographs. He also began to collect Ute artifacts and amassed one of the largest Ute collections in the United States. He was close friends with Ouray and Chipeta. History Colorado bought his collection in 1948. It consists of 232 items. 150 are beaded Ute pieces. This is our largest Ute collection.