Primitive Tanning Class Announced

1st Jun 2009

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Last month we ran the bow making class and  in my mind the week was truly perfect. As we had great weather we scraped on wood in the deep heat of the sun and created some beautiful bows from native timbers. We also sinew backed, rawhide backed and snake skin backed three different bows. The week was jam packed and as always we had time to share many jokes and conversations. The company was excellent!

As we were packing up the owners of the venue, an American bison farm, informed us that sadly one of their calves had died that morning and they offered us the animal. As a group we set about skinning the calf and removing its sinew, we were all involved; holding a leg, peeling away the skin etc.  It was a beautiful and fascinating time. The calf was only a couple of days old but was as big as a roe deer. Feathers and I have dedicated ourselves to turning the hide into something beautiful for the Native Awareness school, to mark the great gift and the short life of the calf.

After skinning the calf, Feathers and I were anticipating the tanning. The act of changing a fleshy wet hide into something beautifully soft is a life altering experience. The feeling experienced from wearing the hide cannot be explained with words. Feathers has been fantasising about a buckskin hoodie for some time, so we have decided to run a primitive tanning class next month. Not only are we going to be tanning deer hides into buckskin but we are also going to start scraping an adult bison skin which is an opportunity not to be missed!

Over the next few months Native Awareness is going to announce the new and exciting projects that we are moving towards, one being an apprenticeship program starting in 2010.

Thank you all for your support in these trouble financial times, and please know that if you need help with funding etc, we will do our utmost to assist you.

I look forward to spending time with you around the slow burning fires.


What to look for in the woods this month: