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comanche

First Attempt At Brain Tanning

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A couple of spots might need re-braining but if I knew it was going to come out like this I would've skinned it a bit more neatly.

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I didn't want to use salt ,borax or alum as I wanted to be a bit primitive . There are loads of Youtube and internet instructions but they seemed to differ a lot and some claiming to be "authentic native methods " seemed to end up including power-tools and acids.

In the end I followed a description by Reginald Laubin who in his day was a preserver and first hand observer of many Native American skills and customs.

 

I didn't salt or dry the skin,just spent blxxdy ages scraping it; then smothered it with warm,mushy brains,rolled it up for a for a few days,then gave it a good stretching. This was repeated a couple of more times.I've just enough of the grey matter(actually pinky-grey matter) left for a bit of spot treatment if needed.

 

Then when it was almost dry I gave it a really mercyless stretching over a pole and with my hands,followed by a scrub with a broken lump of a sand-stone paving slab .

Apparently I'm then supposed to hang it over a smokey fire until it's ingrained with smokey-fire type things that will help a little to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the air .

 

Haven't got that far yet.

 

I think the choice of tanning chemicals and solutions is the easy bit;its the scraping and scrubbing and tugging that's the hard work!

 

In the unlikely event of me being tempted to do another one I might go for the salting to dry the skin followed by alum and salt tanning. From what I've read the results look a bit less hit and miss.

 

 

Of course it might go bald in a couple of months but if it does I'll soak it and give it another braining and tell everyone I meant to make hair-off buck-skin all along:)

 

If it all goes wrong ,well at least I'll have rolled my sleeves up and had a go.

Edited by comanche
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I seen a few videos of brain tanning before. Looks a nice old fashioned method of doing it

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That old guy Tom Muir on yukon men does all his hides by brain tanning them last week it showed a book he had learned all his stuff from . seems easy enough you just boil up the brains and coat it on but i guess the hard part is they don't say quantities ?.

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That old guy Tom Muir on yukon men does all his hides by brain tanning them last week it showed a book he had learned all his stuff from . seems easy enough you just boil up the brains and coat it on but i guess the hard part is they don't say quantities ?.

I seen somewhere (correct me if im wrong) but someone said that the correlation with brain size and animal size is perfect . IE a rabbit brain will be enough for a rabbit hide , a lynx skull would be enough for a lynx etc

 

Again, could be wrong. Think I heard it on YouTube

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Think i might see if i can find that episode in play back find the name of the book and google it , it may still be available

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Think i might see if i can find that episode in play back find the name of the book and google it , it may still be available

youtube will show you all you need to know

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That old guy Tom Muir on yukon men does all his hides by brain tanning them last week it showed a book he had learned all his stuff from . seems easy enough you just boil up the brains and coat it on but i guess the hard part is they don't say quantities ?.

Tom is recognised as an authority on brain tanning in the U.S.

When I seen last week that he learned in from a book I laughed. But he does have a knack for doing things 100%.

 

Make's you wonder how the native Americans discovered it in the first place ?

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That old guy Tom Muir on yukon men does all his hides by brain tanning them last week it showed a book he had learned all his stuff from . seems easy enough you just boil up the brains and coat it on but i guess the hard part is they don't say quantities ?.

Make's you wonder how the native Americans discovered it in the first place ?

I wonder that about many things . Who thought of milking a cow and drinking it?

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That old guy Tom Muir on yukon men does all his hides by brain tanning them last week it showed a book he had learned all his stuff from . seems easy enough you just boil up the brains and coat it on but i guess the hard part is they don't say quantities ?.

Make's you wonder how the native Americans discovered it in the first place ?

I wonder that about many things . Who thought of milking a cow and drinking it?

 

A calf :D ?

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Whats the other side like comanche?

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Its not of any quality but I wanted to keep it for other reasons.Though I decided I wanted to keep it after I skinned it or I would've done a neater job with the disrobing

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Edited by comanche
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Make's you wonder how the native Americans discovered it in the first place ?

 

Only a guess but maybe someone was carrying the brains back to camp for food wrapped in a pelt or was maybe drying some on a piece of skin and noticed how it affected the texture of the material.

I presume it wasn't just American natives that used brain tanning;its just that their culture is probably better documented than ,say,Celts or Ancient Britons . They also used bark from oak and shumach(we call em stag's horn trees over here) trees.

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