Don't Knock the Moc- Moccasin Basics
The word moccasin can be traced back to the year 1612 and originated from a Virginia Algonquian language. Moccasins are footwear (low tailored shoes) that are constructed from soft leather (generally deerskin) and were at first the predominant footwear for hunters, traders, settlers and the North American Indian tribes. Moccasins are soft, and very quiet to walk in which made them an excellent choice of footwear for hunters to get around in without being detected by their prey. As well, since they are constructed from leather, they have good traction and easily soak up liquids.
In the beginning different tribes of Indians decorated their moccasin footwear differently depending on its specific use. The most commonly used items were beads and shells. Some tribes' preferred decorative tongues while others went in for pieces of leather hanging from the heel of the moccasin, and still others, tiny tails that dragged behind as the person walked. A wearer's tribe could often be determined simply by taking note of the footprint's shape. For example, the Great Lakes tribes favored rabbit-nose shaped toes, the plains Indians, flat toes, the Iroquois relished the look of moccasins that were wide on the bottom and finally, the Eastern Forest Indians tribes enjoyed very thin ones.
The decorations of moccasins differ from purpose to purpose and tribe to tribe. For example, most tribes had their own version of marriage moccasins and these were beaded all over the top of the moccasin. Hunting moccasins on the other hand were no-nonsense as they had no decorations and were constructed with a piece of leather wrapped around the foot. Many tribes had special moccasins for death (what they called the journey into the afterlife) and they were adorned with beads on the top, sides and soles. The patterns of moccasins included everything from religious symbols to spiritual symbols to floral patterns to geometric shapes to zoomorphic designs. Some tribes went for an added elegant touch by including a piece of velvet on the cuffs.
Moccasins shoes fall in separate groups- the hard-sole and soft-sole groups. Hard-sole moccasins began as Native American moccasins and were generally made from two or more pieces of hide with the hard sole of shaped rawhide and the fitted leather upper needing more complex tailoring than other types of moccasins. Hard-soled moccasins were very protective to the feet when an individual walked across rough terrain such as ground covered by prairie grass, sharp rocks and harsh cactus plants. The Apache tribe wore two-piece moccasins that featured a turned up toe. This toe worked as a preventative for sharp objects running into the seams of the moccasin and hurting the foot. Soft-soled moccasins on the other hand were popular in the Eastern Forest tribes and were fashioned from one piece of leather. The moccasin was constructed by bringing up the sole around the foot and then proceeding to patch or pucker the material around the instep. Soft-soled moccasins were made with a soft-soled center seam and a pucker- toe and were excellent for treading through woodlands that were covered with pine needles and leaves.
The soft-soled moccasins that were worn in the Plains and the Northwest Coast were constructed from one piece of tanned leather but were sewn along the side rather than the center of the moccasin. There were variations to the soft-soled moccasin, which included a vamp (or u-shaped piece of leather) being added and another piece at the back, known as a cuff was also added. Many of the Iroquois and Great Lake tribes constructed their moccasins with a wide vamp in such a way that it covered over the majority of the upper front of the shoe. It was other Eastern Forest tribes that fashioned moccasins with a shorter, narrower vamp that connected up with a central puckered seam that ran down the length of the shoe.
The defining characteristic of a moccasin is the unique way the material is sewn together. Moccasins are made inside out and a last (or permanent form) is not used. The bottom seams of these shoe face toward the foot when the shoes are turned right side out. The seams are trimmed and there are removable lambswool pads, which are to be found in the bottom part of the moccasin. The moccasin is designed such that the seams never come in contact with the foot.
Self massage techniques
Self massage techniques that help stimulate blood flow, relaxing motions and keeps a body staying healthy and looking healthy.
When you start rubbing your neck, shoulders when your muscles are sore or tense, instinctively you are giving yourself a self-massage, a holistic healing method. Self-massaging is also more then a pain releaser, it is also a good health motive. If you are already in good health, self-massaging on a routine schedule is an excellent way to prevent illness. If your ill, self-massaging can help with the healing process.
Self massage is a proven remedy for fatique, insomnia, muscle tension, muscle weakness, circulatory disorders, skin problems and joint pain. If performed slowly and carefully, self-massaging relaxes the body, improves ones circulation and helps reduce swelling. Performed quickly, it lessens fatique and revitalizes the body. You can use your hands, a massage belt or massage glove to give your massage.
The effects from a self massage will stimulate blood flow, thereby relaxing tense muscles and relieving the pain. It also helps heal some injuries, such as sprains, by bringing fresh oxygen to the injured tissue. Depending on the technique used, you can either stimulate yourself or harmonize your nervous system. First before you begin, you must be in the correct position. Lie down on the bed or couch or sit in a comfortable chair that supports back and neck. Massage one part of the body at a time, don't rush yourself, give yourself about twenty minutes if possible. Techniques for self-massage:
To stimulate circulation and release muscle tension, rub your muscles in a circular motion with palm of hand or fingers.
Use rhythmic knocking or light slapping with flat of hand to improve blood circulation and to help relax muscles.
Using a warm vegetable oil or essential oil of your favorite aroma, lavender is very calming, knead your muscles as if you were working with bread dough.
End each massage with gentle strokes, slowly moving outward motion.
A facial massage:
Using the pads of your fingertips, apply an oil to the certain areas of your face.....in order; forehead, temples, nose, cheeks, chin and then ears. Start from center of each area and slowly move outward. Then place your middle and index finger between your nose and upper lip, move in circular motion around your mouth.
Third; place the tips of your index, midle and ring fingers close together on your forehead and rub outward towards the temples, making circular motions and applying gentle pressure. Next, move in circular motions from your nose, across your cheeks towards your ears. Move down to hinge of jaw and massage jaw arra. To fnish up, lightly tap your entire face with index finger and middle finger on both hands, moving from center of face outward.
If you want to use a tool in your self-massage, I would recommend you use a loofah mitt or any other glove made from natural fibers. These tools are good for reduce fatique. begin with your legs, gently brush your skin in a circular motion. Work upward and in towards the heart. This massage is great to do in the morning before a shower. It will help you wake up and at the same wake up your blood flow for the day.
Warning: Look carefully at your skin before beginning any massage. In areas where the skin is red, or broken out be extra careful with massaging these areas, do not use harsh pressure, and keep in an outward motion.