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MOCS (mox)

Shoe made of deerskin or other soft leather

Common clues: Soft shoes, for short

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Video: Patagonia Shoes: Do-It-Yourself Footwear

The word Moccasin originates from the Algonquian language Powhatan word makasin (cognate to Massachusett mohkisson/mokussin, Ojibwa makizin, Mi'kmaq m'kusun), from Proto-Algonquian *maxkeseni, meaning a shoe made of deerskin or other soft leather. Its sole and sides are made of one piece, stitched together on top, sometimes with an additional panel or vamp. The sole is soft and flexible and the upper part is often adorned with embroidery, beading or other ornament. It is the historical footwear of many North American Indian tribes and was also worn by hunters, traders and settlers. There are many types of moccasins from different tribes.

A soft-soled moccasin

Moccasins allow the wearer to feel the ground while offering protection. The Plains Indians had hard-sole moccasins because the ground they walked upon was rocky and there were occasional cactuses. The eastern tribes had soft-sole moccasins. These were perfect for walking on the leaf-covered ground in a forest. Moccasins are fairly light, allowing the wearer to be virtually soundless when walking.

Today moccasins are most often worn by Native Americans as part of a powwow outfit, or regalia. The most common is the Plains-style moccasins. Many are beaded, either partially or fully, usually with a design that goes with the rest of the outfit.

In New Zealand and Australia sheep shearers make for themselves footwear consisting of part of a cured sheepskin with the wool inside to use while working; these moccasins protect the feet, provide good grip on wooden floors and soak up the sweat of the wearer. Moccasins may also refer to any kind of genuine or faux leather shoe shaped like a loafer, but with shoelaces.

More recently, moccasins have made a resurgence as a popular form of women and men's slipper. Along with a parallel trend of loafers and boat shoes, moccasins are now available widely. Women will wear moccasins out and about, but for men, moccasins are typically designed as in-house slippers (although often include a rubber sole).



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Moccasins".