Markets in everything, American Indian edition

I’m mystified by Joel Waldfogel’s claim — and Nike’s claim — that, until now, there have been no markets in shoes just for American Indians.

American Indian shoes have been produced and traded for centuries.  Most of all they have been produced by American Indians.  Some of them are called moccasins.  Here is a bibliography of writings on American Indian footware.  Here are native American clothing stores, which also sell shoes.  Here is a craft manual for how to make American Indian footwear.

And of course plenty of companies make extra-wide and extra-large shoes, though of course not for American Indians exclusively.  There is the Mexican market as well, which caters to many "indigenous shapes," although admittedly on the shorter side. 

I like Joel’s book but I think he is far too pessimistic about the prospects for diversity in the modern world.  It’s also worth noting that if any group has been victimized and robbed by government, and driven into partial isolation, it is the American Indian.


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