BUCKSKIN MAKING—I would like to have you tell me how to make buckskin. I have a method, but it is not quite satisfactory, as the buckskin hardens when drying.
Some months ago we published an article written by A. C. Rowell, entitled Indian Methods, and this article gave the Western Indian’s method of tanning buckskin, the substance of which we give here. After the skin has keen fleshed and grained make a thin paste by boiling the brain of the animal, then wash and wring the skin and work this paste into the flesh side of the skin, then hang it out, flesh side up, and let it dry thoroughly. When dry, soak it soft and wash out all of the paste, and as much of the glue as possible and wring and work it until dry. If any places dry hard, moisten them and bury in leaf mold until the bard spots relax, then work them dry again, and if necessary, repeat this, until soft It is then hung up in a tee pee or wickiup and smoked several days.
It is this smoking that keeps the skin from drying hard after wetting. Any buckskin will stiffen up somewhat after wetting and drying but if it has been properly tanned, rubbing lightly between the hands will soften it.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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