Pointed Toe Moccasin Workshop with Cynthia Boehm

This workshop is now full.  Please contact us at [email protected] to be place on the wait list. 

Join Cynthia Boehm at the Manitoba Craft Museum and Library and learn how to make a pair of historical pointed toe moccasins.

Old style pointed toe moccasins were a form fitting, slipper style moccasin dating back to the 1800s and were adopted form of footwear by the European fur traders.  This style is also referred split toe moccasins.  They were made by the women from the many Indigenous groups that were unique in style to each region.  Mainly constructed from durable home tan smoked moose, deer or caribou hide and often embellished with elaborate floral and/or geometric beadwork, silk embroidery and horsehair wrapping/piping.  The wrap-around style was designed with a tall ankle cuff to protect the ankle from the harsh climate and snow and was secured by durable hide lace.  This moccasin style was also made with short ankle cuffs that were also elaborately beaded.  Often they were made as a plain working style moccasin and a dressier pair was worn for those special occasions that were elaborately embellished

In this workshop you will learn floral two-needle beading and learn how sew and assemble the moccasin.  Historically the moccasins were made from durable home tan smoked hides.  In this workshop commercial moose hide will be provided along with all other supplies required to complete your own personalized pair of pointed toe moccasins.

Registration is limited to Indigenous participants until April 3, 2023, at which point any open spots can be take by participants of any background.

This workshop requires that participants have a basic knowledge of sewing and intermediate beadwork skills as it will focus more intensely on the assembly of the moccasins. As such, we are asking participants to email a photograph of their previous beadwork projects to demonstrate that they possess the desired skillset. Please email to [email protected].

Register for this workshop.  Because of generous support from The Winnipeg Foundation and the Province of Manitoba, participants are only required to pay a $50 kit fee.  

Sorry, this workshop is currently full. If you would like to be placed on the wait list, please contact us at [email protected] or call us at204-615-3951.

Meet your instructor – Cynthia Boehm

Cynthia Boehm, a Red-River based beadwork artist and designer, feels most at home when she picks up her needle.

As a child, she was surrounded by creative people such as her father, who sketched numerous drawings, and her mother, who enjoyed to knit, crochet, quilt and sew and taught the young artist to sew at an early age. But it was Cynthia’s love and appreciation for historic Cree-Métis beadwork that compelled her to further explore the arts, in particular the historical art of her home community Norway House, Manitoba. This love and appreciation was only strengthened when Cynthia discovered her grandmother’s art, which is housed at the Manitoba Museum. This discovery prompted her to extensively research the historical beadwork and embroidery patterns of her Cree-Métis ancestors, specifically the bold and vibrant designs from Norway House that were produced during the fur trade in the mid to late 19th century. Inspired by colourful silk embroidery that rendered graphic flowers and serpentine leaves in shades of red, pink, mauve, blues, greens, gold, orange, and various shades of purple, Cynthia sought to learn about the historical work of her community, namely the art of her ancestor grandmothers, who’s silk embroidery and beadwork became world famous.

Cynthia has since become a well-known and much respected artist. Her works have been recognized in several art competitions. Furthermore, she was commissioned by the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre in 2020 to produce a “resilience mask”, and in 2019 she was awarded the Barbara Cook Endres First Place Award for her stand-alone floral beaded piece, “My Journey Home — Honouring Our Grandmothers”, which appeared in the competition at the Manitoba Society of Artists Provincial Open Juried Competition. In 2018, Cynthia was given an award for her beadwork at the Interlake Juried Art Show. Both competitions had rarely seen beadwork entered in the past.

Cynthia continues to learn and work in the medium of traditional Cree-Métis beadwork and art forms. She facilitates numerous workshops in both beadwork and moccasin making. When she is not in the process of creating, Cynthia often visits her home community where she feels grounded and connected to her ancestors and history. Her work is not only reflective of her desire to create beautiful pieces but to honour her grandmother, who’s own work continues as a source of great pride and love.