Insulated Moccasins

Insulated moccasins. Fremont culture, Mantle's Cave, Castle Park, Dinosaur National Mounument, Colorado. (UCM 6193a,b).

This pair of winter moccasins is fashioned from deerskin, lined with cedar bark and laced with fiber cords. They were among many otherwise perishable objects excavated from the extremely dry recesses of Mantle's Cave, for the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History by students, Charles R. Scoggin and Edison Lohr. The moccasins were found cached in a shallow pit lined with bark and sticks.

Among the lacings is a segment of tapered cordage of the kind used for game snares. The moccasins were made, probably about 900 years ago, by hunter/gatherer/horticulturalist people who archaeologists refer to as Fremont. Fremont peoples flourished across central Utah and into Colorado. They traded with Ancestral Pueblo peoples to the south. In more recent times, this area was inhabited by the Ute, a Numic-speaking tribe.