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Thread: Saving your skin....

  1. #1
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    Default Saving your skin....

    So you have your Meat down and dead, taken apart and packaged....what do you do with the rest?
    We tan the skins, and my wife sews them the animals sinew, into traditional Kuuvanmuit style clothing, and sells them to museum or folks that wear them, as well as Ink on Seal skin drawings.



    Hats and mittens

    warm Caribou skin Parkees


    Seal skin "Poke" made by cutting and pulling a Seal out its mouth, with no holes in the skin at all...takes "skills" . They are to store meats, green, berrys, oil and blubber.



    Lotsa stuff can be made thats better than anything that is on the Hunters Market today.....
    Sleeping bags, bags, blankets,tent floors, heck even the tent can all be maade from your catch.

    I'm smiling, but I cant show it...~LOL!!!~

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Thumbs up What beautiful items

    Your visits here are golden.
    I would really like to see that seal pulled thru his mouth..
    Thank you
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure........

    One seal pulled outta his mouth, commin' up.




    The wife and her younger sister Ella, making a Puuq to start filling up and rendering the blubber of other Seals they are butchering in. They had only 2 5 gallon Buckets and only 6 Seals, ~LOL!~ so two became "Poke's"...Later they will add the Seals dryed meat to be preserved in the oil. then We dig a hole into the permafrost and bury them untill we can take them home.Gotta Always keep them outta the sun.
    Ther are two kinds of "Poke", one is redied , scraped clean and cured with ashes, and the other is a "quicky" that gets you home, but still needs to have the things in it transferred to a more Cured poke asap. Then the claening can be finnished, but some women can do the job when th epoke is filled as well, as long as they really clean the parts getting tied up, and finnishing the body later...Depends on what your doing, the weather, size of the animal......These women know.....LOL!!!
    Its good! these women are notorious for a Clean cutting. Not much blood spilt by them, no sand on the meat.
    Last edited by strangerinastrangeland; 12-31-2008 at 04:47. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Truly

    Amazing !!!
    and what great smiles
    Thanks
    Mr Edward, I can not speak for everyone, but this just blows me away.
    Once I was in Togiak and watched the guys there open up a Walrus and shove some inflated bladders in the area of the gut and then sew them up so the big guy would float, and then they towed him back home..
    I was so impressed at how easy it was done..
    I can see we are not going to throw anything your way that you have not already seen..
    the Hailstones are Awesome.
    I would be interested in purchasing some of your families crafted items.
    please PM me if you have some ready.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Default

    What an adventure! It sure looks fun but not sure I am tough enough or smart enough. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and experience; I greatly appreciate it and you are a wonderful photographer. Thanks. J.

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    Default best post ever

    I agree incredible is all I can say!!!! Thats how it should be, and looks like you are passing these skills on!! My son this year trapped a beaver and 2 mink tanned the hides, smoked them and made his girlfriend a pair of mitts. I cant take any credit as I dont know how to do this stuff he learned on his own and some from some elders here. I will show him your post it will blow him away!!! Thanks for shareing it!

  7. #7
    New member DaveLuntz's Avatar
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    Default Looking for

    Can you make snowmachine handlebar gauntlets?

    We are picking up two trail touring machines and im looking for some better one than what is avail on the market.

    If so please send me an email at david.luntz@hotmail.com

    Thanks

  8. #8

    Thumbs up

    Awesome pictures and story. This is fascinating to see and read. thanks again for sharing.

  9. #9
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Time

    The one thing he doesn't mention is the amount of time for completing those projects.

    How long does it take to get that seal skinned for a poke?

    I think it's "Shadows on the Koyukuk" where they talk about what Native Alaskans do when they down a Moose and proccess the entire animal. I found that information helpful. It was a fault of mine as a begining hunter to never factor in the great amount of time required to process my game. Now when I'm hunting and I don't have enough time in the day to process my hunt is over, kinda.

    Thanks for sharing. I'd love to find a good skin sewer to make me a nice hat out of a well tanned Mt. Goat skin I've got. Its a summer goat with a very even short wooly coat and a garment quality tan.

    Sounds like your post could drum up some buisness if you want it to. There is obviously some demand.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default hyjack temp.... thanks stanger.

    I would like to take a moment to thank Strangerinastrangland..... these photos and stories could not have come at a better time. and they are priceless.. My self having been to is home town years ago and many around there. appreciates the memories he give to me.. and i have beat this issue before but here goes.....

    we have so many members that HONESTLY do not understand the way of live in rural Alaska.. the resources they do not have are the ones you take for granted. each community has for the most part their own style. and way of doing things.. often as not we hear from folks down grading the Native lifestyle... please take these moments to learn from it.. it is what keeps entire villages alive. i can attest to the fact that one hunter feeds many. and that little is waisted.

    we have had some sever conversations about caribou waisted up north.. and some sever bashing has gone on... take a moment to realize that like our own communities. we have a few bad apples. and there are those villages that will have theirs as well. A person, does not a people make.

    take the time to learn... from stanger..and consider this...

    the last several months of Native this Native that.......


    i heard not one word... Military this military that... when the owner of Blondie's was found dead last week..... why BECAUSE WE KNOW... they were 3 bad apples in a full orchard of fruit..

    thanks for the moment..

    hijack over
    Vince
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Default right on the money

    Vince couldnt have been better said by anyone! ive spent my life in and around native villages here in Northern canada and have witnessed many times some of the things you spoke of. You and your people are the greatest teachers in this country!

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    Stranger,

    Thanks for the pics and info, glad to see you passing this stuff along to the rest of the forum. We make most of our own stuff here too, hats, mitts, mukluks, use the skins for all kinds of things too. And make some things for sale as well to bring in extra income.

    I just hope down the line all this stuff continues to pass on to the next generation and the younger ones take it up and pass it on as well. In this day and age it's becoming less and less prevalent unfortunately.

    Best to ya,

  13. #13
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    Default nice post

    Stranger,

    Great post! I enjoy seeing the lifestyles from the different villages throughout the state. Beautiful clothing and artwork your family has made.

    Happy New Year to you!

    Austin

  14. #14
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    Default Village life.....

    Thank you for the compliments.

    First, so there is no mistake, I am an Alaskan, but not a Native Alaskan.

    Total Melting pot blood in me. My wife is 100% Inupiaq however. Her parents, as well as theirs came from rather distant villages, moving about as they did,and I married into a big family.
    I grew up Hunting, and fishing, basicly because my parents were broke, and we could all spend time together cheaply, hunting and fishing. Food for our gas and time was stuck in my head at a young age.......so I have no problem taking my kids along through hell and highwater.
    Mom, brother, cousin, are in South East AK, but when Mom used to live up this way, the last time I came to visit her I just didnt move away.
    My dad is a Montanan, and I spent a few years living in Kalispell in the 80s. Been to Mexico ,Canada, the East Coast and the "West", Grand canyon, Zion park... and California..someday I will see the "South"..~LOL!~ so I have a good grasp of comparason, and I like this place best.
    I make sure my family has seen it too, and we flock up and take off flying somewhere fairly far every couple years.

    My kids see how good it really is to be here, too.

    When I hooked up with my wife,we had to decide how to make a living. she was taking care of her dad, as her mother had passed, and he was born in 1903. He was active with us untill 2000, when he had a stroke that wrecked his throat muscles. He went to an extended care, and spent his last years living there.She is the 14th of his 15 kids (two wifes) and the one that stayed home and worked. She learned things the proper way.
    With only seasonal jobs available, Me mining and her Salmon Fishing,we just fell in with the crowd and got to doing what were doing. When we started hunting/fishing/ gathering, because it was what was going on...we were helping the old, and helping ourselfs. Now , most of the old folks are gone or in homes, as they can no longer work that way, and we are taking young people along. I see circles here...LOL!
    Learning by doing is the best way to learn , to work, and to have a good memory to laugh at. Your best friends are the ones you sweat with. We have a "Clan" type Crew when we hunt, different partners for different hunts, but most guys are brothers, cousins, inlaws. This family is just one of many, and its amazing how much "Old ways" are still incorperated in organizing a good sumers camping.
    Hunting is still hunting.
    Traditions are ways that work, or they wouldnt be traditional. I just see whats working and do it myself.


    Living in village Alaska is different tahn a city.
    By no preconcieved design, zip for plans,I have been roaming for 22 years now. ~LOL!~ how time flys when your having fun.
    Very Few jobs. Alot of people want too work, but it just isnt there. The Native corperations hire as many as possible, but thats still a few.
    People here use the land as a "Job", to eat everyday from, to get income and to heat their homes.
    They guard the lands like they should, and can utilize "Native lands" in ways that public lands cant be used.
    People here inna village are concerned about hunting so they will be having breakfast, the price of gas,stove oil (7.85$ agallon STILL!) and how they are going to make money that gets what nothing else can, like pay an electric bill.
    We think and work hard, like we should.
    the alternative is welfare with bordom, a loss of worthyness, and it leads to drinking and drugs.
    Most own their houses. They have relatives around,and are keen on where and when to be, to utilize a resource, be it fish, wood, birds, what ever. It really ties people to a place. Its hard to get a job without having a diploma, but going to school often has kids learning skills that dont apply to village life, we are seeing more and more kids leave when they become a Working Age.
    Funny how it is, but the kids that dropped out of school young are the ones with the skills to feed those that went to school and have no jobs.

    We decided to homeschool our kids via a "Camp corraspondance" program and they got an education that will let them flurish anywhere.
    4 years ago, they closed the districts program so we moved to a little village. We had MAJOR housing problems ther, and in the end, just moved back up this way. Theres wood all around here, and its no problem to be warm , even with just an Ax.

    Life without much $ can be hard, but its gotten to be that life with alot of valueless $$ is here...gotta do wahat you can.

    The wife makes a pretty penny with her arts. If any one has specific requests they can PM me for the sticker shock, and get in line

  15. #15
    New member DaveLuntz's Avatar
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    Default Sent you PM

    Just sent you a PM for the snowmachine handlebar gauntlets

    Thanks,

    Dave

  16. #16
    Member jonsgirl's Avatar
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    Default

    Simply amazing I absolutely love the drawings on the skin. Makes my beaver and fox hangers look kinda pathetic. Do you guys have a link for purchase? I have family in Tennessee who would love these. Although I'm sure I would have to buy some for my husband first.

  17. #17
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    Default

    We save our skins to make the $$$ to buy the gas, so we can do it all again.
    If you truley are interested, prices vary, and its not cheap.

    Sealskin with ink, like the Walrus I posted start at 5,000$. + shipping. You cant see it, but its 4X6 Feet in size. Some are bigger.

    Shes working on one now that has a Polar Bear attacking a Bearded Seal, done on a mature Bearded seal skin that actually has Polar Bear Claw and bite marks scarred into the skin/fur. Should be cool.

    She has made 6 , of various size and materials, in the last year, and has 3 more ordered. Maniilaq Association in Kotzebue bought two this September, and gave one as a gift to The President of Bolivia, and kept the other to display in their meeting room.
    The Seal skins need to be bleached in the winter, and they are alot more work to prepare for drawing on. They must be caught in the summer to make good bleached skins.

    She makes the same with Caribou skin, that start at 3,000$ and use small Caribou figures in big herds. Caribou skin can only be used if they were caught in August-Dec, as Warble flys mess up the skin with small holes and scar tissue that make them hard to draw on

    If you have an image that you want specificly, its extra$. Free will and arts are easy, getting an image that someone else wants is harder.






    These photos are cheap, and the work on the skins is not done in the pictures, as I see the frames arnt done or painted, either, but I cant find a "Done" pict, must be on her Photo files somewhere...
    "Time" as mentioned is Loooong in making. Starts wih the animal, head shot, skinned right, tanned proper, and then streched and framed. Working with ink, one screw up and its "Start all over".....
    Often, it takes a year of gathering to accumulate the proper materials for a project...say Caribou skins from the summer, fur trims from winter and Fall time is the time to sew, so we have quite an accumulation, but it go's quick.
    Most take a 1/2 yaer from start to finnish.
    Often, if people really want one, she will accept 1/3 rd down, sign a contract, and buy materials. Seal skins done "proper" are not cheap...LOL! What is anymore?

    Agnes Has Traditional Skin sewing in the Museum on 7 Th ave, in Anch, Hokkaido Japan, Hamburg Germany, and lots of private stuffs.

    Now how should I go about posting these "Things" that hunting starts? Where is the proper "B.S.ing" forum where we can discuss and post about things like this?
    I can discuss so many things associated with hunting, but not the actual hunting like here, so where oh where do I post??

    Happy New Year!!

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