58 Arctic Ground Squirrels!

The Arctic Ground Squirrels and the Rasmuson Grant came on the same day!

 Here is a step by step process of cleaning;  First – I washed them with Dawn dish soap and some with olive oil soap and some with Fels-Naptha – testing which soap removes the grease and keeps the fur soft – I think the olive oil soap was better but Dawn soap definitely removed the grease.  I had to remove the hind feet as I cleaned each fur.  Feet were left to dry for weight purposes. After the rinsing the soap off the fur and skin – I air dried them and I also used a fan (stay tuned for a video). When the fur is dry the skin needs to be stretched on the boards while its damp.  To make the skin smooth – I used baby powder as the skin was a little sticky.  The fur must be removed from the board before it’s fully dried or it will be hard to remove from the board.  

My mom who is guiding me 🌸❤️
 


Most important, working the skin must immediately take place to soften the skin – making it pliable for sewing.  

This first batch of tanning were completed in Fairbanks before my trip to fish camp 🌸

Author: Nasek'taq

Alaska Native Artist. Yup'ik woman from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) Alaska. I am in the process of making a Yup'ik woman's traditional fancy parka and a child size parka made out of Arctic Ground Squirrel and other Alaskan furs.