The 2019 Mitakuye Hide-Tanning Workshop was a great success! The workshop began with some basic instructions on the various tools that we use and the different kinds of things we can make with tanned hide.
Our first project was building a frame together. After that was done, we took a deer-hide that had been soaking in water, cut small holes around the edges, and tied and stretched it onto the frame. We then “fleshed” and cleaned the hide.
One of our major projects this year was scraping the hair off a full buffalo cow-hide. This was a “summer hide,” so it had much shorter hair than a “winter hide,” but it still took a lot of work!
We had several projects going on this year including: a deer hide, a section of a buffalo robe, buffalo rawhide, and an elk hide.
Hide-Tanning is a lot of hard work – but there is nothing like the experience of taking a smelly, fleshy skin and transforming it into a velvety soft, pure white deerskin or a beautiful soft buffalo robe!
It is awesome to see so many youth get so excited about their ancient art form of traditional brain-tanning!
Special thanks to Larry Belitz (www.siouxreplications.com) for supplying Mitakuye with green hides for the workshop and making a new wahintka (elk-horn scraper) for our students.