“I like to teach and if I know how to do something, I like to share my culture.” – Britteny Cuevas
Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – November is known as Native American Heritage Month. It is a time to celebrate cultures, traditions, and histories while acknowledging the important contributions of Native people. As a part of NAHM, many tribal nations take part in an event known as “Rock your Mocs.”
According to a Native Hope blog post, Rock Your Mocs began in 2011 when Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye of Laguna Pueblo started this as a social media event. During NAHM she encouraged all Indigenous people worldwide to wear their moccasins in unity and post the images on social media. Since then, the event has grown into a weeklong celebration of unity and diversity with organizations holding events worldwide.
On Nov. 4, the College of the Muscogee Nation hosted a moccasin workshop with Muscogee (Creek) citizen Britteny Cuevas for NAHM. Cuevas has taken interest in making moccasins, bow making and basket weaving. She recently started learning how to make flat reed baskets.
This workshop was her first time teaching others how to make moccasins. Cuevas had learned by going through a couple of classes and just by having friends help her.
“I have never taught moccasin making until this year,” Cuevas said. “I love it. It’s a journey, the people love it and I got to do a private class. It was just three of us girls hanging out and making moccasins, it was cool.”
Cuevas went and taught Berryhill High School Indian Education students. She said the students felt good leaving the class with the moccasins they made. A few of her influences on moccasin making are Jamie Bennett, Ben Yahola and Matt Anderson.
She started teaching others because it’s importance when connecting with culture.
“I like to teach and if I know how to do something, I like to share my culture,” she said. “So if I learn this and I like it, I am going to break it down into simpler steps and teach other people.”
Materials to make moccasins include; deer hide, sinew and scissors.
As NAHM is celebrated, Cuevas said it is important to outreach, influence, educate people and tell others that Native American people are still here. “Rock your Mocs” week is celebrated Nov. 15-21.
“I look forward to seeing other people wear their moccasins,” she added.
For more information on booking or buying from Britteny Cuevas, visit her website at: https://www.4locv.com.