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Miniature snowshoes

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Miniature snowshoes RAMM1782000snow

The red yarn decoration around the edges was made by inserting a piece of cloth under the animal hide binding.  The ends were then unravelled to form a fringe.

Walking in snow with ordinary footwear could be slow, difficult and even painful.  When the snow was soft and deep, the traveller's foot and leg might disappear below the surface with every step.  To overcome these difficulties, people developed a variety of flat devices to attach to their feet.  These enabled them to spread their weight over a larger surface area and to walk over snow, whatever its condition.  The snowshoe developed from a flat board to a hoop of wood with a web of rawhide thongs.  There were many regional variations of the snowshoe with different methods of webbing and harness attachment.

These miniature shoes are in the Athapaskan style with a pointed toe, a pointed heel and two cross-bars.  This style of shoe was especially effective where the traveller can follow a relatively straight course with few turns.

Reproduced by kind permission of The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter.


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