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Deer -  The deer was one of the most important animals to the Indian.  It provided food and clothing and its antlers and various other parts made many useful articles.  Deerskin made the finest buckskin.

The American deer was found in abundance throughout the United States.  The red deer was also known as the Virginia white tailed deer.  it was to be found from Maine to the pacific Coast islands and from Canada to Florida.  A full grown buck might weigh as much as two hundred pounds.  In the summer the upper parts of its body were of a reddish brown and in winter a grayish color.

The black tailed deer, sometimes called the "mule deer" because of its long and heavy ears, was the largest of the species in this country.  A full grown buck might weigh two hundred and fifty pounds.  Roaming the Plains area westward, moving north in summer and south in winter, the black tailed deer was dark gray or mouse colored, its tail tipped with a tuft of black hair.

The Indian made deerskin into clothing of all types.  The hair from the tail was used fro ornaments and embroidery.  The antlers were fashioned into tool handles and arrowheads.  The hoofs provided glue and rattles.  The dewclaws, or extra toes, were used for jingles on belts and for anklets.  The sinew provided thread, bowstrings, and cord for snares.  Needles, awls, skin dressing tools, handles, and ornaments were made from the bone.  The deer's paunch and bladder were made into bags and pouches.  The brains and liver were used for dressing rawhide to make it into buckskin.

Related Information within this Site
[ Buckskin ][ Costume ][ Dishes ][ Food ]
[ Horn and Bone Craft ][ Rawhide ][ Stone Boiling ]