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.
The 20th day of June was hot and this is how we cooled off.
These are what I started off with before the Arctic Ground Squirrels arrived from a young man from my mother’s childhood home, Kwethluk. What a blessing to have such a young man with family to continue the tradition of hunting and trapping ground squirrels – nothing is wasted from all the catches. Quyana tailuci!
Finished tanning the Arctic Ground Squirrels – all were completed during fishcamp leisure while waiting for salmon fishing to be opened – which has been regulated :-(. I will post the timeline of the tanning process as my busy summer allows. Here is a sneak peak of them squirrels. Quyana, Piurci 🌸
Welcome to my site; made specifically to share the progress of my Arctic Ground Squirrel Parka making, “qaliq.” Quyana paqluci! Thank you for checking my site! Piurci!