Historic Moccasin Candlesticks


Item Number: DR 205
Pueblo: Santa Clara Pueblo
Artist: Attributed to Margaret Tafoya, although they are unsigned
Medium: Clay and pigment
Dimensions: 6″ tall and 4″ in length
Age: Circa 1920s – 1930s



Rare. Unique. Beautiful. These words are very appropriate for this wonderful matched pair of candlesticks. They were made in the traditional moccasin shape and have the twisted wrappings indicative of the leggings worn by Native Americans. The forms were beautifully polished, but now carry wear marks where fingers have carried the candlesticks for light. The toes turn in slightly to create right and left moccasins. Candlesticks made in this shape were particularly popular with tourists, probably because they looked more Indian than just plain columns. These candlesticks were pueblo made for the tourist trade of the early twentieth century.

Candlestick production probably originated when the Franciscans requested them for use in the churches. They could have started as early as the late 1500s, but probably originated much later. At first, candlesticks brought from Spain were used, but eventually were replaced by pottery ones created by pueblo potters.

Condition: Fine- original condition with a small smudge on the tip of one of the moccasins and usage marks (candle wax and rubs) which is appropriate for their age. These beautiful matched candlesticks have ethnographic wear marks in the handles.
Provenance: Originally purchased in a Fort Worth Antique store in the 1960s by my mother. It is rare to find a matched pair.

Additional information

Weight 30 oz