I skinned and pulls apart one side of a Swan feet for strips on the shield and the black fish tail. I used small uluaq (women’s sewing knife) and believe it or not my teeth to pull apart the skin from the joint.
Next step is do the other swan feet. After I dry them – I will work on the shield and work around the shield, sewing the squirrels. I need to find caribou hair for decorative strips that goes with the swan feet. I have reddish brownish leather for the other strips for the shield.
While I was at Fish camp – I peeled bark off from an alder wood my brother cut down for smoking the salmon. When I returned to Fairbanks- after talking with Lolly Carpluk and her mom – I was able to get instructions from Lolly and her mom to do my first experiment of natural dyes.
By their instructions: I mixed together alder bark, salt and warm water. I soaked the hairless seal skin into the mix for few days. I checked it a few times until the desired red color was present. I will experiment with soaking it in white vinegar first and try the alder dye again or visaversa.