abos hunting gear period clothing scraping smoking softening miscellaneous
The Wild World of Brain Tan

Abos and Others

All the folks on this page have turned their braintanned skins into unique personal clothing. They weren't trying to make clothes of any specific 'period', just functional garb that's fun to wear (though most of these folks have a 'primitive' twist).

You'll also notice that many folks's buckskins are of a greyish-tan hue. This is the natural result of years of wearing and washing buckskins in rugged outdoor situations. In the old days it was a sign of someone who'd spent a lot of time in the backwoods.

Buckskin Chair Pads 
by Bob Kursawe

Hey, why not! (click picture for full size view).

Buckskin Vest 
by Bob Kursawe

The use of two smoke colors and lacing decorate this vest....and pockets make it extra useful. For more of Bob's work visit www.buckskintanner.com 

bags and sheath by his Vaughness

Pouches and Sheath 
by Vaughn Terpack

Notice the way Vaughn used buckskin of contrasting colors to show off the fancy stitching on his knife sheath. Also notice how he sewed in a piece of wood (rivercane?)to stiffen the opening of his large pouch. Click photo for detail.

hide rich


Hide rich!

Finished hides by Vaughn Terpack. Vaughn is a frequent participant in The Hide Out!, braintan.com's online forum.


Lotta Rahme in traditionally tanned northern wear.

Lotta has researched and learned directly from various northern Athapaskan and Inuit women. She is way ahead of most of us in understanding the tanning and use of hair-on hides. Lotta is the author of Leather: Preparation and Tanning by Traditional Methods which we review on this site.You can visit her website at http://home.swipnet.se/lottastannery Most of it is in Swedish but there is an english section.

The Abos

Abo Adventurers

With years of practice and eating right, you too could look like this!

From left to right: (top row) Mike Clinchy, Peg Mathewson, Kole Riggs, Matt Richards, Walt & Jim Riggs. (bottom row) Jeff 'Roadkill' Damm, John Mein, Ron Macy & Michelle Riley

Abos in Arizona


Desert Friends

Erin Sage, David Holliday, Zack Clinton, Josh Sage & Barbara

The top part of David's shirt was rubbed with red ochre pigment, and Josh's shirt was lightly smoked and washed to the point that its real white.


Check out the way Chris painted a black walnut hull dye onto his skins to make some really outrageous designs on his breech-clout and leggings.


Michelle Riley - The buckskin bag lady.

You can see a lot more of Michelle's custom garments and bags at her website Buckskin Designs.


Ron Macy

Flintknapper, falconer, and hunk.


Jimmy Riggs using a flint tipped hand-drill to drill holes into a juniper bark berry basket.


John Mein

Laughing with bow.


The Blankenship kids: Tyree, Tikla, and Teale with braintanned 'Coon skin caps.


Getting married in buckskin

Wedding garments made by David Rose (Shéom). The white dress was not smoked.

Jim Riggs

Contemplating the true meaning of sinew

 Jim is the infamous author of Blue Mountain Buckskin and the first person to show me the magic of brain tanning a hide, one super hot day in the high desert of eastern Oregon. Jim also hosts the Knap-In at Glass Buttes in eastern Oregon. Its a free-for-all campout and sharing of flintknapping and other aboriginal skills that lasts for one to three weeks in March every year. Information on how to contact Jim is in the Directory of Tanners.


Tyree Blankenship

Life is good.

abos hunting gear period clothing scraping smoking softening miscellaneous


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