The Indian Chief Roadmaster was designed as a handsome, comfortable rival to Harley-Davidson’s heavyweight touring bikes as Americans took to the road in the years following World War II. Indian’s top model, the Chief Roadmaster (1948) exuded power and style. Note the Indian Head on the front fender as well as the custom-fringed leatherwork. Now, imagine how it would look flying in the wind as the bike speeds toward the horizon!
These boots combine the traditional technique of beadwork with modern fashion in an entirely contemporary way. To create them, artist Teri Greeves (Kiowa, Native American, born 1970), elaborately embellished the pair of high-heeled sneakers designed by Steve Madden with imagery significant to the Great Lakes tribes.
One side shows the tribes’ designs and the other, contemporary jingle-dress dancers who perform at powwows. Greeves’ innovative work connects her with the long tradition of female beadwork artists who fulfilled this important role within their culture.
Photographed at the Brooklyn Museum.