Sunday, January 24, 2010

How It All Started - Part 4 - Hides and Apprenticeship

So, I am nearing the end the history lessons.  Within the last year, I have been led to really start digging in.  This fall, I was given a number of hides - moose and deer.  In the interest of full disclosure...I was given three moose hides, four deer hides, eight deer legs, one racoon hide, and two deer heads.  I must say that there is a very large gap between tanning a rabbit hide and a moose hide.  Rather than using Back to Basics, I decided to follow the more traditional method in Tom Brown's Field Guide to Living with the Earth.  I will follow up in several posts with all of the details.  If you are going to brain tan hides, or want to learn any number of primitive skills, I would highly recommend picking up Tom Brown's Field Guide to Living with the Earth.

Brain Tanning, In Process

Rendered Racoon Fat

Through a strange turn of events, I finally decided to meet with some local shamans for a medical issue.  Prior to my visit, I did a little digging around on the web.  I found that they teach an apprenticeship course.  I toyed with the idea before my visit, but was not completely convinced.  After the visit, during which I mentioned the idea, I received a call about the rapidly approaching class.  After some discussion and coaxing by two particularly wise women in my life, I decided to enroll.  I am sure there will be a few posts about this too.

So, now you are as up to speed as I can get you without completely driving you away screaming in bored agony.


  1. I want to hear more about these "wise women." Names. We want names ;).

  2. You keep writing 'em - i'll keep reading 'em

  3. This is something that I have been interested in but have been told how hard it is. What has been your experience? Also I alost bought Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness, Have you read this yet and if so do you still prefer Tim Browns field guide as far as instructions on brain tanning?

  4. It is a lot of work, but there is something soothing about being out doing the work. I have not read Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked Into The Wilderness. So, I guess I prefer Tom Brown. It provides a good guideline, but you need to do the work to really learn it.


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