Buffalo Hide Tanning and Teachings – Part 2 – Making a Buffalo Bone Scraping Tool
In Part 2 of the series, Lorne shares his knowledge about and models making a buffalo bone scraping tool used on buffalo hides.
Lorne Kequahtooway walks the audience through a demonstration of traditional tool making while discussing the history of the tools. The first steps in making a buffalo or moose bone scraping tool is to boil the bones and remove any meat or fat left on the bone. Once the bone dries there may be hair or skin on the bone that needs to be removed. Then, the edge of the bone needs to be cut at a 60 degree angle with grooves cut into the angled edge creating a serrated edge. The serrated edge is filed and sharpened which allows for a more efficient hide scraping. The last step of this process involves drilling a hole through the bone to install a leather loop handle.
Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway and Lorne Kequahtooway are artists and leaders behind the Buffalo People Arts Institute (BPAI). Founded in 2015, BPAI became a non-profit organization whose mission is to share traditional Indigenous teachings and knowledge in order to raise social consciousness and create awareness of the power and strength drawn from blood memory and our connection to the buffalo.
In collaboration with NCCIE and Common Weal, BPAI documents the process of and teachings about buffalo hide tanning. This series of stories entitled, Buffalo Hide Tanning and Teachings, takes you on a journey of exploring connection to the buffalo while also reflecting on the social and historical realities of the buffalo and the people who rely on its survival.
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