In Their Footsteps - Buffalo Moccasins

Currently on display is a beautifully beaded pair of high-top moccasins worn by Mary (Beaverhead) Smallsalmon (1909-1995). Though we don’t know a lot about her, we do know that she belonged to the Qlispe (Pend-d’Oreille) Tribe and was born about 1909 in the Mission Valley. Below is a picture of Mary with her brother Pete and mother, Mat-A-Len. When Bud Cheff Jr showed Mary this photo in her later years, she was delighted having never seen a photo of her mother.


“Mary was raised in the old traditional lifestyle, and was at home on a horse” recalls Bud Cheff Jr.  “Her father was known by all the Northwest tribes as having fast race horses.”  Her father was Alex Beaverhead, son of Palomine who later became the wife of Louis Mollman (see previous post on Mollman family here).  She married Michel Smallsalmon, and lived out her life here on the Flathead Reservation.  She walked on in 1995 at the age of the age of 86.


Moccasins on loan and on display at the museum, courtesy Bud Cheff Jr. Please take a moment to stop by and say hello before the summer is over to see what else is new at the museum!

Mary (Beaverhead) Smallsalmon's Moccasins
Mary & Pete Beaverhead with their mother, Mat-a-len
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