While most moccasins are made of deer hide or moose hide, some are made from the buffalo. Buffalo and bull hides are used to make moccasins in the Catskill Mountains of New York because buffalo have roamed free there for thousands of years, though their numbers have drastically declined in recent times. Buffalo and bull hides are tough leather skins perfect for Catskill Mountain moccasins to survive the rugged conditions of forest and temperature. Woodstock, NY is also home to a company called Catskill Mountain Moccasins where they make custom moccasins with real buffalo and bull hides by hand for every order.
The Native Americans used buffalo hides for Catskill moccasins after they had killed them for meat because they always used every part of the animal for food or clothing. These hides are still supple like deer or moose and also still provide exceptional long-wear. Catskill Mountain moccasins are lined with sheepskin just like most other moccasins and were worn for many reasons by the Native Americans including hunting and special events like weddings where they would wear more elegant moccasin designs.
These Catskill Mountain moccasins are designed similarly as the original moccasins of other tribes with their own tribal colors and patterns with beads, paints, and symbols. They are structured with pieces of hide sewn together by small strips of leather as thread to piece each part of hide together into the decided style as a full boot or basic shoe just to cover the feet. Most every member of the tribe wore them including children and others, some with intricate art and others just with their colors and extra hide for hunting or trekking through the mountains.
Catskill Mountain moccasins are now generally made with bull hides since buffalo are an endangered species but they still make wonderful footwear if you go for the modern construction perfectly stitched together and polished or the traditional, pieced moccasins that the Native Americans wore so long ago.