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Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Animal Hide Preparation and Use

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Clip Synopsis:

The Heritage Community Foundation, with the kind permission of Terry Garvin, is pleased to present this feature excerpt from the Bush Land People video.

Raw hides taken from animals can be refined and applied to a great number of uses.

Clip Transcription:

Tanning transforms raw hides into durable leather material used for clothing and footwear. Hides are softened by soaking them in water, then pulling them tight on a wooden stretcher where meat and hair are carefully removed with a bone or wooden scraper. This is a very labour intensive process, but the reward is a finished hide that can be sewn into blankets, jackets, moccasins, mukluks, and even toboggans.

Almost nothing is wasted. Small pieces are used to make toys like this baby rattle, knife and gun cases, and drum covers. Narrow strips are made into laces and carrying straps on packsacks and baskets, and are used as packaging cord.

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