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Importance of Survival Skills

How to Tan a Hide

How to Tan a Hide

How to Tan a Hide. Tanning a hide by the methods used by Native
Americans involves four steps: cleaning, braining, softening, and smoking. You will need A small animal hide A knife
The animal’s brain A stove A pot Water A blender A brush A storage area A chair and smoke. Step 1. Remove meat and fat from the hide by scraping
it with a knife. Scrape from side to side — not head to tail. Use a fresh hide, preferably from an animal
that has died a natural death or been the victim of a recent accident. If you use a frozen or dried hide, you will
have to restore it to fresh condition. Step 2. Cook the animal’s brain — beef or pork brains
can also be used — in a pot of water, then put it a blender with warm water and mix well. In general, any small animal has enough brain
to tan its own hide. Step 3. Moisten the hide until it feels like a sponge,
and then apply some of the brain mixture to the flesh side with a brush. Let the brains sit on the skin for an hour
before applying more. Step 4. Roll the hide up with the brains inside and
let it sit overnight in a cool, protected place. Step 5. Apply another coat of brains in the morning
before stretching out the hide. Step 6. Run the hide over the back of a chair to soften
it until it is completely dry. Step 7. Smoke the hide over an open fire. Smoking prevents the skin from turning hard
after getting wet and discourages insects. Did you know Native Americans used animal
brains to tan hides because the oil in the brains lubricated the fibrous structure of
the skin.

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