proper mountain man footwear

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crockett

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Yes, sources are few and far between. The "hard" stuff like guns and knives remain but clothing wore out.
The artwork of the day that shows the long fringe. It has been critisized as being an artist's creation so those who like short fringe opt for the short fringe but what I could never understand is that only long fringe was painted by artists, I can't recall any artwork withshort 1" to 2" fringe. Along similar lines, if only center seam/vamp moccasins are shown being worn by mountain men,(in the art of the day) why is it always passed off as an artist's fancy. How can opting for short fringe and side seam moccasins be MORE correct? I suspect but perhaps I am wrong, that cutting short fringe and making side seam moccasins is a lot easier so a lot of folks WANT the short fringe and the side seams to be pc.
There is one quote about the 7" long fringe in one of the diaries written at the time- a few years back while I was doing a lot of reading I footnoted all that stuff and put it in a data base- give me a day or so and I'll try to find it. Once again, let's say it is only one quote- so it gets discounted. There's only one quote (Rufus Sage) that's post 1840 about mountain men wearing side seams yet that one quote is used as solid documentation. I don't want to start a big argument and I realize that I'm in the minority on these thoughts- it's just that I can't figure out why the long fringe and the center seam/vamps are so spurned.
If Chuck or some others are reading this thread- maybe they already remember the long fringe sources- otherwise, as I said, give me a day to find it.
If malice towards none, I'm just trying to figure it along with everyone else.
 

Black Hand

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Crockett,
I don't have issues with your statement, I just would like to know the sources.

On the other hand, I have a hard time seeing the utility of putting an extra hide worth of fringe on white-guy pantaloons (or even every-day-wear leggings). Long fringe is a pain.

Pucker-vamp and center-seams are under-represented though they are no more difficult to make than side-seams. The Fur Trade guys I run with wear pucker-vamps and there is a pair in my future, as the style pretty much seems to span the continent and time periods.
 

Black Hand

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crockett said:
...I can't recall any artwork with short 1" to 2" fringe.
Short fringe seems to be more of an eastern thing, and even there, it seems rare. Flaps on leggings were far more common. Existing examples I've seen of leather breeches/pantaloons were tailored similar to cloth versions - no fringe.
 

crockett

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Hey, I actually FOUND some of the stuff I squirreled away :).
1. Fred Gowans, "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous" page 117: This is a quote of Philip Edwards who was one of Jason Lee's party- 1834. "shirt and leggings with fringe along the arms and sides, six or seven inches long".
2. Thomas Farnham, "Travels in the Great Western Prairies 1839" Page 7. Trousers of deerskin with long fringe".
3. George Ruxton, "Life in the Far West". Page 4. Pantaloons with long fringe.
There are quite a few other quotes just about fringe with no comments about whether it was long or short but I haven't run across any accounts where someone said "short fringe". On the first quote by Edwards- he deliberately notes that the western fringe is not like the shorter fringe seen in the east but rather much longer.
In any event, as I said, I'm still on a learning curve but it would appear that long fringe is pc and could well have been the more common length in the west.
 

Rod Lassey

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As far as the moccasins go, Prince Maximilian collected a pair of side-seams made for the fur trade, by either the Mandan or Hidatsa. They were not finished---the back seam was left open for a one-size-fits-all effect, just put your foot in and mark where the seam should be, and cut off the excess and sew up.

As an aside, I recently presented a paper during the Montana Historical Society conference, on Native women in the fur trade. One of the things I found while researching the subject was the large amount of clothing made and traded by Indian women at the various fur trade forts. Moccasins were a big item of trade, along with decorated shirts, leggins, etc. In fact, a number of the Native clothing items collected by Maximilian were actually purchased from the "company store" rather than collected from the Indians themselves.

Rod
 

tenngun

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I found long fring to be a pain....but the records and the paintings show it there.Some things have been worn through out history because people thought it looked good. Tight cowboy boots come to mind as 1870s cowbows didn't want to look big footed.And I'm sorry to my scots ancestors but I wouldn't want to wear a great kilt for more then just show.
Stove pipe hats and ladies spiked heals fits on that list.Long fringe could give you a mess of wangs at the ready if you needed them, and tell every one you were such a good hunter yoou could waste sking on decoration.
But...I think Miller was painting the stand outs not the every day plain janes(joes).Until acme makes its time machine we wont know for sure.
 
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+ 1 ...
Also I believe long fringe is a more western (open plains and prairie) thing (+ the use of horses)... short fringe or flaps are a more eastern or more woodland thing...
 

crockett

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About 5 years ago some guy from the Blackfoot Nation told me the same thing about the back left open and then sewn to fit the purchaser. At the time I was wondering how a vamp without the partial center seam was made without a lot of wrinkles/puckering. He said a log form was used to form a toe and when the leather dried a lot of the wrinkles disappearred- that's when I asked about how long the log was- I figured it was a completed moccasin that was put on the log and that's when he said the backs were left unfinished and sewn up by the person who bought them.
I'm not sure there was any fringe police around. Everyone ought to scratch their own fleas as they see fit. I think it is safe to say some or maybe most mountain man fringe was long and that a variety of moccasin styles were worn. Some where in the back of my mind is Ruxton saying of all the styles he liked the center seams the best. Whether that was a true center seam or a center seam/vamp I don't know but he obviously must have worn a variety of styles to come to a conclusion about which style he liked the best. Mountain men made their own and they probably made a side seam in that instance but they also traded for a lot of moccasins and probably took whatever the local tribe had made.
Actually, one issue I've always had is the height. Everyone goes with "flaps up" to keep stones and pebbles out. Ruxton speaks of ankle high moccasins (flaps down?).
 

stombaug

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Hey I just wanted to interject how much I have enjoyed reading all of the entries in this post. You folks are truly well-read and knowledgeable on this topic and I have learned a lot (mostly that many things are still open for debate!) Thanks for helping me out also, as I have had many similar questions, particularly with the source references. Awesome! :thumbsup:
 

Alden

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Those are specifically for lumberjack personna's...


"I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
I sleep all night and I work all day

He's a lumberjack and he's okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day

I cut down trees, I eat my lunch
I go to the lavatory
On Wednesdays I go shopping
And have buttered scones for tea

He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch
He goes to the lavatory
On Wednesdays he goes shopping
And has buttered scones for tea

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
(He's a lumberjack and he's okay)
I sleep all night and I work all day
(He sleeps all night and he works all day)

I cut down trees, I skip and jump
I like to press wildflowers
I put on women's clothing
And hang around in bars

He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps
He likes to press wildflowers
He puts on women's clothing
And hangs around in bars?

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
(He's a lumberjack and he's okay)
I sleep all night and I work all day
(He sleeps all night and he works all day)

I cut down trees, I wear high heels
Suspenders and a bra
I wish I'd been a girlie
Just like my dear papa

He cuts down trees, he wears high heels
Suspenders and a bra?

He's a lumberjack and he's okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day

He's a lumberjack and he's okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day"

Songwriters:
PALIN, MICHAEL/TOMLINSON, FRED/JONES, TERENCE GRAHAM PARRY
 

Wes/Tex

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"What did I tell you guys about keeping the liquor cabinet locked when it's BBC night?"!! :rotf:
 

Luke MacGillie

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Sunkmanitu Tanka said:
+ 1 ...
Also I believe long fringe is a more western (open plains and prairie) thing (+ the use of horses)... short fringe or flaps are a more eastern or more woodland thing...
The idea that eastern folks were not horse people is a modern construct based on us not being horse people anymore.

There was a quote from the period, that I cant lay hands on right now, but said something along the lines of a Virginian would walk 2 miles to catch and saddle a horse to ride it a mile.

Longhunting was done on horseback, They didnt carry little itty bitty backpacks with little itty bitty Trekkers kettles and skillets in them.

Like I said, modern construct.
 

Alden

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Not so modern maybe -- Fenimore Cooper wrote his first bestselling Leatherstocking Tales (i.e. Last of the Mohicans though I refer to The Pioneers) volume in 1823. And Hawkeye never owned and didn't much ride a horse. He coulda used a nice pair of the shoes -- the topic of this thread -- but wore moccasins.

Longhunters might have had pack animals too...

:wink:
 

Sean Gadhar

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Alden said:
Those are specifically for lumberjack personna's...


"I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
I sleep all night and I work all day

He's a lumberjack and he's okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day

I cut down trees, I eat my lunch
I go to the lavatory
On Wednesdays I go shopping
And have buttered scones for tea

He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch
He goes to the lavatory
On Wednesdays he goes shopping
And has buttered scones for tea

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
(He's a lumberjack and he's okay)
I sleep all night and I work all day
(He sleeps all night and he works all day)

I cut down trees, I skip and jump
I like to press wildflowers
I put on women's clothing
And hang around in bars

He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps
He likes to press wildflowers
He puts on women's clothing
And hangs around in bars?

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay
(He's a lumberjack and he's okay)
I sleep all night and I work all day
(He sleeps all night and he works all day)

I cut down trees, I wear high heels
Suspenders and a bra
I wish I'd been a girlie
Just like my dear papa

He cuts down trees, he wears high heels
Suspenders and a bra?

He's a lumberjack and he's okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day

He's a lumberjack and he's okay
He sleeps all night and he works all day"

Songwriters:
PALIN, MICHAEL/TOMLINSON, FRED/JONES, TERENCE GRAHAM PARRY

Dear Sir,

I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms!

The BBC depiction of lumberjacks as dressing up in woman's clothing and hanging out in bars, goes beyond the pale!

I'll have you know when dressed in high heels
Suspenders and a bra, most of us stay home knit and drink sherry like proper ladies.

Yours, Bill(Lola) Walters
lumberjack/seamstress

:rotf: MPFC was what I lived for as a kid. Thanks for the reminder :)
 

Alden

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Whew. For a minute there I thought I was gonna get...

...The Spanish Inquisition!
 

Wes/Tex

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"MPFC" was what I lived for as a kid." And if you're older, it was spike Jones! Between the two, there's a lot of 'classical music' that starts me whistling goofy lyrics!!! "Spike Jones Murders The Classics" set history back 200 years!!
 
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