TURTLE ISLAND – Rock Your Mocs Day has become one of the fastest growing, indigenous-wide celebrations of culture and diversity during Native American Heritage Month.
What started out as a small initiative, November 15 has become a day for movement throughout Turtle Island as indigenous people of all walks of life showcase their bead work and craftsmanship by wearing a pair of moccasins.
This social media campaign was headed by 21-year-old New Mexico student Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye of the Laguna Pueblo. Atsye says the idea was simple — to set aside one day each year to wear moccasins to celebrate the diverse culture of Native Americans and other indigenous people across North and South America.
In an interview with Yahoo News, Atsye said this movement is also a way to educate.
“When someone asks you, ‘What do your shoes represent?’ or ‘What’s the story behind your moccasins?’ there can be endless descriptions,” Atsye told AP Writer Susan Montoya Bryan. “They show who you are. They’re an identifier. They can bring unity.”
With more than 500 different indigenous peoples across North America and parts of the South; footwear within each nation, tribe and culture is as diverse as they are beautiful and unique.
From the gathered toe to the puckered toe, from raised to lazy stitch bead work; moccasins are a reflection of history. So enjoy Rock Your Mocs day take a moment to carry on the footsteps of ancestors!