Moccasins For All
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 23:53
Jesse Aguiar has been making moccasins by hand for over 40 years and he’s just getting started.
Four months ago, he opened San Agustin Trading Co. with his wife MaryAnn Aguiar. The retail store, located at 120 S. Avenida del Convento, features completely handmade moccasins in a variety of styles and colors.
Aguiar learned the trade when he worked for the Kaibab Courtyard Shops as a moccasin maker for five years.
“I took to it like a duck out of water. I just learned it really fast,” Aguiar said. “I was producing as many moccasins as the regular moccasin makers within two weeks, and that was unusual for most moccasin makers.”
“A lot of my business is done on the reservations. I sell 90 to 95 percent of my moccasins to the natives for their dances and ceremonies and different occasions that they need the moccasins for,” Aguiar said. “As far as moccasins are concerned with the natives, it’s not a luxury item. It’s a more of a necessity item and a traditional moccasin that they wear for their ceremonies.”
Depending on the tribe and the dance, the moccasin he sells will be customized by the wearer to suit the activity by adding colored leather patches, fur and other details.
“When they dance, each group, they do their own designs and they put their own ties on them, so everything’s different for their dances,” Aguiar said.
Aguiar has a workshop on Meyer Avenue where he makes all the moccasins by hand, with the help of a few workers.
San Agustin Trading Co. sells over a dozen different styles of cowhide moccasins that can be made in over 30 different colors. The store also sells children’s moccasins, and custom orders can be placed too.
“A lot of people want something different,” Aguiar says. “If they can draw it, I can make it.”
While Aguiar respects that the Native American community has kept his business afloat all these years, he wants his moccasins to reach more people.
“They’re distinctive because they can be used anywhere,” Aguiar said. “They’re not only for traditional and native dance use, but they’re for urban use and for everyday use for anybody, not just Native Americans.”
Manny Salmeron bought a pair of the One Button style of moccasins from San Agustin Trading Co.
“I actually bought them because I went on a trip to Burning Man and I wanted something really comfortable,” Salmeron said. “I like that they’re comfortable, I like that they’re locally made and just very traditional.”
- Streetcar Construction Creates Difficulty for Downtown Businesses
- Take Back the Night: Cover it Live
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument clears air about dangers of the border
- Personal activism turns into motivation for demonstration
- Missing on the Border
- University of Arizona NROTC members may carry weapons on training hikes near Mexico
- The Reincarnation Tour: Celebrating a Vibrant and New Central Phoenix
- Rap, Culture & God Lecture
- Cover it Live - CBP's Mario Escalante will share tips of how to be a better border reporter with SPJ.
- Cover it Live: Margaret Regan Talk on Arizona-Mexico Border Stories
- Similarities Emphasized at ‘Queer-ability’ Discussion
- The Essence of Gamma Alpha Omega
- Spanish Heritage Learner Program Enhances UA Education
- Arizona Women's Heritage Trail
- Border Beat Class
- Cover it Live Boxing Training Session
- UA Decathlete Strives to Make the Most of Life in the US
- Ride Report- Premises Park Progress
- The Grip On Tucson Climbing
- Shootout decides 2012 Desert Diamond Cup Championship Game
- Soccer Success Still Kicking in Tucson
- L.A Galaxy v. New York Red Bulls
- La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo
Stalk us at:
Border Beat BlogsEducación en la Frontera
By: Shannon Maule
A look at higher education in regard to those who have and have not been able to travel from various countries to the United States. Stories from people in the higher education world relating to the border.A Mosaic America
By: Rachel Kolinski
"Exploring Diversity one Face at a Time"
By: Hope Jamieson
Explore dance throughout the borderlands.A City of Musical Diversity
By: Maria Teracena
Tucson musicians influence and are influenced by the sounds of the world.Culture Crossing
By: Chelsey Barthel
American borders are crossed every day by cultures of all kind. These stories tell the personal experiences of people from different lands, offering further insight into the difference of cultures.
By: Lauren Inouye
A look at Mexican and Latin films that reflect culture, politics, and society -- reviews, research and analysis.
By: Charles Misra
Stories about martial arts and combat sports with a cultural twist, all finding a home in America's southwestern borderlands.Border People
By: Jamie Turow
Profiles of English language learners.
By: Jessica Hoerth
Meet some of the people in Tucson who have made the journey across the border as they share what they came in search of and what struggles they may have encountered along the way.
By: Lauren Urratio
Fashion and how it is impacted by the border and international cultures.
By: Lucy Valencia
News from along the border with MexicoThe Border Project
By: Melissa Guz
"The Border Project" is an art showcase located in the University of Arizona's Museum of Art. It has over 40+ art pieces related to border issues.Athletics and the Border
By: Preston Fawcett
Get to know high school coachs and athletes from Arizona border towns or from Mexico and their struggles to get to where they are.
By: Audrey A. Fitzsimmons
The Southwest boasts of diverse ethnic backgrounds and a wealth of interesting personalities. Border Personalities is dedicated to the people of the Southwest and their stories.
By: Jeff Kessler
U.S. - Mexico border issues, current events, and interesting local storiesMusic of the Border
By: Steven Schiraldi
Music reviews of musical works by Mexican or other ethnic artists.
By: Brett Haupt
A visual exploration of America’s last frontier -- pictures and videos from different areas of the wall and fence that separate two different worlds and insight into what really stands between the United States and Mexico, ramifications of wall building and what it means for the average citizen.Border Athletes
By: Lauren Sokol
Meet international student athletes at the University of Arizona, a look at the recruiting process that helped them find a temporary home in the desert, and culture changes that the athletes might have endured.Journey Across the Border
By: Emily Kjesbo
Spotlighting Mexico’s top travel destinations, as well as a few of its hidden gems.Border Shots
By: Keith Perfetti
A photojournalist looks at how other photographers have viewed the border and shoots lesser known spots of the southwest.
MLS Soccer comes to the Desert
By: Jeff Kessler
All about the 2012 Desert Diamond Cup, a 10 day exhibition soccer tournament featuring four Major League Soccor teams coming to Tucson.