• Maya Wright

Rock Your Mocs


Sometimes I have dreams that I am standing in the forest. My long hair is in braids wrapped up in feathers and beads. It is warm outside. I can feel the warmth of the sun cutting through the trees on my face. In the distance I can hear the trickle of a gentle stream. I look down and I am wearing a fringed deer-hide dress draped over my shoulders. The fringe ends at the middle of my bare calf. On my bare feet are plain soft sole moccasins. I can see my bare ankles and part of the tops of my feet. I wiggle my toes and feel the soft leather and the dirt through my moccasins.

I hear the sound of kids yelling and playing behind me. I turn around and there is a Native American village. Teepees rising up into the air with smoke columns reaching up and touching the clouds. I begin to walk toward the village. I can feel the fringe slapping my legs and Mother Earth kissing the soles of my moccasins with each step I take. I reach a teepee and step inside. There are 6 other women sitting in a circle.

(photo from WikiMediaImages)

(photo by Mariah Tarango)

(photo source unknown)

They are dressed just like me. They are beading and sewing bags, dresses, and moccasins out of leather. They light a smudge stick and give prayers over the items to the animal that gave their life and the person who may use or wear the item. They are speaking in a language, which I've never heard; yet, I understand what they are saying. I sit down and join them in prayer as I speak in the same language. The prayer ends and I pick up pieces of leather and begin cutting them out with a stone knife. I sniff the leather and it smells intoxicating.

(Moccasin Maya: self portrait)

I begin making moccasins for people in the tribe. I am making the moccasins with such passion and know precisely what I am doing, which makes me realize that I was made for this. I feel an unfounded joy and happiness making them for someone who is going to slip their bare feet into and connect spiritually with Mother Earth. I finish the pair of moccasins, step out of the teepee, and present them to the member of the tribe.

It is a little white girl with a corn-husk doll in her hands. She was captured from a European settlement and adopted into the tribe. She sits down in the dirt as I help her remove her small, old, dirty moccasins. Her toes are pressing through the leather where I can see each individual toe and the outline of her foot. I slip the new moccasins onto her dirty bare feet, one at a time and see the smile grow on her face with each moccasin.

(photo by R. Madison)

I pick up her old moccasins and hold them in my hand. She stands up, thanks me in the indigenous language, and gives me a hug. She looks back down at her moccasins with the same smile on her face and wiggles her toes. A bright light flashes from between her moccasins and the ground that blinds me. By the time I recover and can see again, I see the backside of the girl running away. Her fringed leather dress and her braided brunette hair, swaying, and her doll in her right hand. I look down at her old moccasins in my hand and smile.

I feel an unbelievable amount of joy, happiness, and peace as I awake from my temporary reality.

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Info: Rock Your Mocs Week: November 12-18, 2018

Photos: Maya Wright, WikiMediaImages, Mariah Taranto, R. Madison.

#moccasins #nativeamerican #culture #naturephotography #footwear #handmademoccasins #dreams #fashion #nativeamericanfashion