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Brain-Tanning a Deer Hide & Making Primitive Tools/Clothing

Every year, thousands upon thousands of deer skins are thrown in the trash and wasted. Modern hunters either do not want to put in the effort, do not possess the tools and equipment, or are intimidated by the process. But this skill was an absolute necessity to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The ability to keep warm, covered, and carry supplies was a way of life.

Join us in helping preserve this primitive skill and create one of the oldest, softest, strongest, most versatile fabrics known to the hunter-gatherer. Experienced tanners will guide you with detailed instruction and hands on application in order to take a deer hide from a raw state to beautiful finished buckskin. Each student will be provided their own deer skin to work on and take home upon completion. We will also be providing all the necessary tools, brains, and other materials.

brain tanning

Each day of this 3-day workshop will start at 8am and continue until around 6pm. During the evening and downtime you will be exploring and learning the uses for buckskins including clothing, moccasins, bags, and much more.  Each student will work on and take home a beautifully tanned buckskin hide of their own.

The traditional tanning process includes a lot of physical labor, but is an extraordinarily rewarding skill. Camping will be on site and participants will need to bring lunch, dinner and/or snacks for breaks that are given during the workshop.

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Class Size: 8 Students

*A gear list will be sent out prior to the class.

ELECTIVE CLASS STATUS: This course counts as one elective class for the Primitive skills program.

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To Register:

**Because our instructors must do extensive preparations with hides that must be harvested in advance, we require a $150 deposit upon registration.  This is not refundable — once we have a hide and materials set aside for a class, it needs to be used quickly.  The full tuition is $300 and covers all materials and students can leave with not only their own finished buckskin but with primitive tools and/or clothing as well.

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