- Lariats or throw ropes were made of both rawhide and hair from the buffalo
or horse. The early Indian buffalo or elk hide lariats usually were
about twenty feet long. Most were merely strings or thongs of rawhide,
unbraded, about two fingers wide. A slit in one end formed the honda,
or eye through which the rope ran to make the noose.
Some ropes were braided from three rawhide
strings in the "hair braid," or flat braid, with a small loop on one end.
After a lariat had been braided from the damp rawhide strings, it was streached
on the ground until dry and then greased with tallow and softened by drawing
it back and forth around a tree trunk or post.
Later Indians made better lariats by using
four strings in a round braid, an art they learned from the Mexicans.
Buffalo hair or horsehair throw ropes were
braided from the neck hair of the buffalo and the mane and tail of the
horse. They were much used by Plains Indians, but mainly as stake
ropes or tie ropes, becasue they weere liable to kink and were much lighter
and could not be thrown as far as the rawhide lariat.
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