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Rawhide - Untanned hide, one of the most important of all materials to Indian Woman Streaching Rawhidethe Indian, was used in innumerable ways.

To make rawhide, the green hide was first stretched on a frame or on the ground and the flesh and fat removed.  After it had been allowed to dry or "set" for several days, the hide was removed from the frame and placed in a stream of running water for four or five days or buried in the ground with a sprinkling of wood ash on the hair side.  This loosened the hair and made it easy to remove.

When properly treated rawhide would not shrink, but green hide, taken directly from the animal, would shrink in drying, becoming very hard.  This hardened hide was known as shaganappi, or "Indian iron."  The Indian took advantage of the shrinking of green hide for securing handles to war clubs, making drumheads, lashing lodge poles, and mending broken objects.
 
 

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[ Quirt ][ Saddle ][ Shaganappi ][ Shield ]