Article ID: CBB001212880

Fashioning Moccasins: Detroit, the Manufacturing Frontier, and the Empire of Consumption, 1701--1835 (2012)

unapi

Cangany, Catherine (Author)


William and Mary Quarterly
Volume: 69, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 265-304

Moccasins were worn by Euroamericans on many frontiers, but colonial Detroiters, unlike other frontier residents, did not just wear moccasins; they also manufactured them. By the 1770s Detroit was home to at least three tanneries that produced native-style shoes. Due to Detroit's situation in the heart of the Great Lakes, merchants then shipped moccasins to the eastern seaboard. By the early nineteenth century, this frontier footwear had transitioned into imperial culture. The fashioning of moccasins---tracing the appropriation, fabrication, distribution, marketing, and consumption of a native cultural item by nonnatives---challenges our understanding of the frontier in three ways. It establishes the existence and scope of a hybridized culture that borrowed and blended the most useful components of several cultural traditions. It demonstrates that Detroit capitalized on components of both west and east to capture some degree of commercial autonomy. And it identifies an instance in which the interior influenced and shaped the Atlantic. The local production of moccasins for an eastern clientele reversed production, distribution, consumption, and fashionability to flow from west to east. Such a reordering enabled Detroit to exert both its importance within and its distinctness from empire.

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Citation URI
http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB001212880/

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Authors & Contributors
McCalman, Iain
Goodman, David
Pickering, Paul
Fahey, Charles
Curthoys, Ann
Bunbury, Bill
Journals
William and Mary Quarterly
Environmental History
Publishers
Cambridge University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by University of North Carolina Press
Grove Press
Manchester University Press
Brill
Concepts
Technology
Technology and economics
Great Britain, colonies
Industrial revolution
Technology and culture
Manufacturing
People
Watt, James
Boulton, Matthew
Places
United States
North America
Great Britain
Scotland
Ireland
Europe
Times
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century, early
20th century
Modern
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