These hand tanned hides are tanned like 120 years ago, scraped thin with a Wahintka (elk horn scraper), Brained, oiled, tanned soft and smoked if desired. All holes are sewn with sinew, with a running stitch on the hair side, as seen on the originals. All the lacing holes are left in the edges. By buying direct from the tanner, you by-pass the middle man. Check around and compare my prices with the commercial tanned products. I think you’ll agree that we are quite reasonable.
sizes from 35 to 55 sq. ft.
|The buffalo trade in the early west started out as a “robe” trade. This means tanned buffalo hides purchased from the local Indian tribes. Most of the animals tanned were heifers or young cows. “The Rocky Mountain Journals of William Marshall Anderson” written in 1834 claims: “Mr Fontenelle asserted this evening, to knowing ones, that the American Fur company at their posts on the Miss & Missouri rivers, traded with the Sioux alone, in one winter, for fifty thousand robes–For this trade, it is remembered the cows only are killed–“
Unfortunately, female buffalo are worth too much alive to be slaughtered in any kind of numbers. What we offer is almost exclusively bulls, we do actively search for younger animals though. Buffalo-bird-woman, a Hidatsa woman that Gilbert Wilson interviewed at the turn of the century claimed “the skin of a two year-old bull made the best robe.” (The Horse And The Dog In Hidatsa Culture, 234). But check with us if you’re looking for a cow hide, we get a few most every year.
Robes painted with earth paints and hide glue.
depending on design
Price: Add – $100 to $250
Epishemores is an old word for saddle blanket. We cut a buffalo hide down the backbone and fold it in half with the hair out. This is an old method as described by Henry in 1809, “Under each kind of saddle are placed two or three folds of soft dressed buffalo skin, to keep the horse from getting a sore back” (Henry and Thompson,1897, vol.2,p.527]. This pad will also double as a ground cloth to sleep on, as they average 3×6 feet.
We sell 1/2 or 1/4 pieces of buffalo for projects.
Price: $185 for 1/4 hide and $350 for 1/2
This is the same price as a hair on robe.
I use a “wet scrape” method to remove the hair and epidermis. What this means for the end product is a smooth suiface. The only blemishes are scars. My hides are between 8 and 14 sq. ft. in size, with 10 to 12 ft. being most common. Please state your needs and I’ll try and match them. Most of the raw hides we purchase are pulled ~ meaning no knife maiks to weaken the end product.
Price is approx. $10.00 per sq. ft. depending on quality
$135 for biggest and best
|I also believe this technique was used exclusively by the Indians east of the Mississippi, and practiced pre-1850 by the tribes west of the Mississippi. Karl Bodmer painted a Sioux woman working a hide on a beam in 1833. An elderly Apache lady I know still practices the wet-scrape technique.|
Everything that was said above about the deer applies to the elk. These hides range from 16 to 35 sq. ft., with average sizes being between 21 and 25 ft. I tan only cow elk, they are thinner and softer then the bulls.
Price: approx. $12.00 per sq. ft. depending on quality
Average cost between $200 and $350
White rawhide hand-scraped, made with no chemicals. After scraping, these hides are tanned one time, making them white throughout and more pliable. These hides are from bulls and are large enough for a pair of boxes or large envelopes.
Priced at $275
Until recently this was impossible to get, but now I’ve figured out how to burn the hair off leaving the dark epidermal layer untouched. Perfect for reproducing those older incised parfieches.
Another use for this is cutting into strips for an authentic style rope. This will also make a strong trap sack when sewed with a thong or heavy sinew. In the Fort Hall ledgers, “parfleche” (an old term for rawhide) was sold specifically for trap sacks.
Priced at $350
Treated the same as above, the hair is scraped off, and tanned one time to insure whiteness and pliability. Many of the painted rawhide articles in our museums are made of cattle.
Priced at $175
I make tipis of buffalo hides and will consider elk skin tipis for those interested in producing an authentic cover for tribes like the Utes.
Pictured is a 14-foot lodge made from 10 buffalo bull hides and 3 strips of buffalo sinew. The cost for this size is $8500, please call for quotes on other sizes, prices vary with a similar size lodge of elk costing more than one of buffalo due to increased sewing.
We sell bows made of Osage Orange in a traditional shape for the plains tribes. The back is covered with sinew applied with hide glue. Complete with a sinew string.
Priced at $250
Arrows are constructed from shoots of the dogwood, rosehip, or chokecheny, No dowels. “Blood grooves” are cut into the shaft. Fletching is applied by hand using hide glue and sinew. Points are metal.
Price is $30
Please inquire about painted parfleches and other rawhide articles. Depending on workload these articles are sometimes available. Other articles will be considered. Please inquire, we’ve tried our hand at most everything one time or another
I will try to ship orders in a timely manner. Please call before sending money, we have been anywhere from 2 to 4 months behind at any given time for the last couple years. So we usually don’t have any stock on hand and tend to work exclusively on orders. If your order is taking longer than you expected please feel free to call and inquire, we want to satisly you. Don’t feel as if you are bothering me, ever.
All items may be returned within 15 days if not satisfied as long as they are returned in the same “as received” condition.
Please send enough! Most robes cost around $15.00 to $20.00, this side of the river while more easterly destinations cost between $20.00 to $25.00.ALL
ORDERS MUST BE PAID FOR ON COMPLETION OR WILL SEND C.O.D.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION