Thursday, 24 August 2017

We stole their land, their buffalo and their women. Then we went back for their shoes.

The Red Indians were an ungrateful lot.
Far from thanking the whiteman for bringing them civilisation (guns, whisky, disease, that kind of thing), they spent years making very bad medicine.
Naturally, during the course of their disputes, the whiteman found it necessary to relieve the Red Indians of certain items.
Thousands of square miles of land, for instance, which they didn't seem to be using.
The odd buffalo, which provided some interesting culinary experiences for the folks heading West.
And of course the squaws, who were often invited along to soothe the fevered brows of conscience-stricken gun-runners and bounty hunters.

But perhaps the most lasting testament to this cultural exchange programme is the humble moccasin.
A shoe of quite ingenious construction. And remarkably comfortable to boot.
Even now, nearly two centuries after the first whiteman tried a pair on, they have yet to be bettered.
Which is why at Timberland, all of our loafers, boat shoes and walking shoes are based on the original Red Indian design. (...)
Our hand sewn shoes also hark back to the days before the whiteman came.
No machines. No mass production. No deadlines. (...)
A far cry from the Red Indian moccasin? We certainly hope not.
Because if we ever forget our origins, or change our old-fashioned way of making boots and shoes, one thing's for sure.
A lot of people are going to be on the warpath.

The newspaper ad designed by the agency Leagas Delaney, won a Silver Pencil "despite complaints from some within the ad industry that it contains racist nuances" (via).

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image via


  1. Interesting! Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for leaving a comment, Karen!

  2. Abbie Winterburn24 August 2017 at 16:31

    Great, thanks for that!

  3. Your blog is like a diversity discovery channel to me :-)

    1. Thank you for your super-wonderful-marvellous feedback, Wim! I do hope you will find interesting postings here in future, too. Thanks again!