This is how I have the Dene words written in my notes it’s not spelled correctly. I’m learning the language of tanning.
Mah-Toh: the moose flesh on the hide
Golo-Ghah: Moose hair
Danitu: rotten wood
E’woh: the scraper
Tsa-woh: to scrape the hair side
Staam bee: a moose hide on the frame…
Golo-Dheh Lacing holes.
With the help of a very hard-working woman we finished taking the ‘Mah-toh’ off of the hide (Mouse brothers hide #1). I did most of it the day before and was pleased to hear that I did a pretty good job, yes! From working with different people and learning I know that everyone has their own way in working hides, and I am grateful to have worked with them.
As we got down to the edge I watched as she cut the lacing holes and kept note of where the neck and bottom end were as well as the corners of the hide. Once we finished the Mah-toh side, we flipped it over to ‘shave’ off the rest of the hair. I had already cut half the hair off, we finished in no time. I saw a totally new technique of taking the hair off, I was using a style I learned before and watched as my new teacher totally schooled me with her efficient knife skills. I’m going to have to file a new edge on one of my knives so I could practice what I just learned.! -ninja knife skills-
Putting this hide in the frame. We dismantled my dads frame, we made it smaller for this hide to fit, a new method I really enjoyed seeing which I will use again. the bottom pole was left off the hide and the bottom of the hide was measured with a rope, not sure how to measure exactly, but the hide fit so good very snug. I learned to put the neck up first and have a space in between the pole and hide for the sitting pole to go in. This way the bottom goes up first. All my photos for this day were over exposed, I gotta be checking my settings yo….
Rain water is best to soak hides in… *note for other hides, collect rain water…
Long ago Dene women had a power…
Food list for Sambaa k’e…. (note-book notes May 23rd)
With the second hide on the frame we took out the other hide to clean. I am not used to taking the Mah-Toh off on the post yet so we shaved the hair off first, this made it easier for me to hold while I cleaned off the Mah-Toh. While my teacher shaved the hair off I began scraping the hide on the frame where it had dried over night.
We spend the day removing the hair and cleaned the Mah-toh off.
Mouse Brother hide #1 and the second hide up being scraped.
Third day with my new teacher, she works fast I like the pace I love how much we’re getting done.
Scraping or Tsa-woh, is hard work.
We finished scraping the first half by noon we had already turned the hide and were scraping the second half. The Sun had moved out away from the trees making it very hot I put a tarp up for shade.
This method of scraping you do not sit up on the hide I enjoyed this way I also like to sit up on the hide.
The scraping was nearly done, so close to finishing the 2nd hide it was going so well… I was shown how to see the thick part of the hide by making it wet with a towel you can see the darker yellow patches where it is thick and the hair follicles. We were taking turns on the hump area when my scraper punctured a hole right in the middle of my hide. *no* i whispered and cover the hole with both my hands not wanting it to be there, I nearly cried, all the work my arms are so tired the sun is hot my hands are swollen and we are nearly done and I made a hole right in the middle.
This hide was pretty good it was covered in warts which means it will tan well and easy to make soft like cloth. The hide was cut into when it was taken off of the moose which is not cool and that is where my scraper made a hole. It’s not a good feeling yet a good learning experience. After I soak it I will sew it up.
A hole shaped like my scraper….
After a little break I got back to it we finished scraping the hide around 3:30pm we took it off the frame rolled it up and brought out the 3rd hide we cleaned the day before it’s just non-stop like this awesome sentence…
Ozzy stretching the 3rd hide up in the frame. Good Job son.
We had the 3rd moose hide up in the frame by 4:30pm. I’m taking a break on Friday and will see how it is drying in the evening. Saturday is another full on scraping day.
I appreciate all the support and knowledge sent my way, Mahsi.