Vintage Bear Paw Trapper Snowshoes
Wood, Rawhide, Leather, Metal
26.5"l x 15.5"w
This pair of vintage trapper bear paw snowshoes is either ready for a deep woods deep snow walk or ready for decorating the fireplace at the ski condo. Handmade by trappers the same way for many, many years. The wood (likely Ash) is harvested, then soaked and bent into the oval bearpaw snowshoe shape. Rawhide lacing is then woven (while wet) to create the distinctive snowshoe footprint. When the rawhide dries, it becomes taught and can hold the weight of a grown adult on the snow. Leather bindings were a major upgrade from a simple cloth rope tie, which constituted the foot attachments on the earliest snowshoes.
Image credit: Canadian Archives