"The spirit of the buffalo runs through First Nations people. It’s in our blood." — Lorne Kequahtooway
This past week our students were able to participate in the stretching, and scraping of a buffalo hide. Lorne Kequahtooway and his team taught and led our students through this complicated process. Every student had a chance to experience this traditional process and many expressed that it was something they had always been curious about, but never had a chance to do. Thank you to Lorne and his amazing team for your continued leadership and commitment to the “Bringing Back the Buffalo” program.
This project is possible thanks to the generous support of the Sask Arts Board and the City of Regina.
Taken from the Leaderpost
From hide to jewelry in five (not-so) easy steps
Step 1: Find a hide that can be tanned.
The hide can be either fresh or frozen. If frozen, it needs to be thawed.
Step 2: Assemble a frame.
Unlike the old days, most skilled hide tanners have pre-made wooden frames in various sized that can be easily transportable from site to site. The frames must be easy to assemble with a few screws and a portable drill. The hide is spread out and tacked to a wooden frame using a utility knife and a rope.
Step 3: Lift it.
Once the hide is secured it is lifted into an upright position and leaned against something solid.
Step 4: Clean it up.
Metal pipes instead of bone tools are used to remove the fat, meat and sinew left on the hide.
Step 5: Make it into something.
Once the all the meat and sinews is removed there a few options for hide tanners. Removing the hair and drying it will create parfleche or rawhide. The hide can be brain tanned and smoked to create leather. The hair can be left on to create a buffalo robe. The rawhide has to be completely dried before it can be turned into jewelry, purses, hand drums, rattles, and belts.