Mementos from North America

Note: We are currently updating this resource to reflect the impact of colonialism in a more transparent way. Please bear with us while we work with our contributing partners to improve our content.


This resource is part of the Museum Snapshot collection - a collection of smaller resources perfect for starters, plenaries or spare moments to explore something fascinating.


Resource created by: North Lincolnshire Museums Service

These North American Indian beaded child’s moccasins are from the late 19th Century. The have red material on the cuffs known as 'trade cloth'.

Native American Beaded Children's Moccasins

In the 1880s and 1890s many people from Lincolnshire emigrated to America and Canada in response to groups such as the Methodists advertising for settlers. These items were collected together by a carpenter from Worlaby in North Lincolnshire who answered the call and moved to America. Unlike many of his neighbours, he came home again, bringing with him mementos of his time abroad. 


The moccasins, together with other items of clothing, shoes, a tomahawk and a pipe represent the links between Lincolnshire and the New World, made when people from Lincolnshire emigrated to America and Canada in the late 19th Century. The collection is held at North Lincolnshire Museum.


Young Person's Response to this Object

I like the detail achieved with the beads and the colour contrast,
using yellow and orange against blue. The use of suede real animal
skin, the skill needed for this is impressive. Steph Webb


Discussion ideas

  • How are these shoes different from ones children might wear today?
  • What type of footwear do we use today that are most similar to these moccasins?
  • How long do you think it would take to make a pair of moccasins like this?  Does this affect their value, do you think?