Native American Survival Skills: How to Make Primitive Tools and Crafts from Natural Materials

Native American Survival Skills: How to Make Primitive Tools and Crafts from Natural Materials

W. Ben Hunt

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1629145971

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


W. Ben Hunt, whose Sioux name was Tasunka Witko, traveled throughout the Midwest, living with several Native American tribes, finally settling near the site of the last Sioux uprising. Here he provides step-by-step instructions and exact dimensions to make Sioux ghost shirts, Plains Indian shields, box traps, Iniut snowshoes, and more. From making rawhide to putting the finishing touches on a pair of moccasins, beginners and seasoned woodsmen alike will enjoy making the tools and camp equipment that were used for centuries. Native American Survival Skills is a remarkable source of information about the Americans who first pioneered self-sufficient living. In it, there are lessons for all of us today.

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may be set over the ends to keep out a heavy rain, lifted into place with a pole, and fastened by cords at three or four places. The canvas should not hang down too far, or it may interfere with the smoke draft. In warm weather, the lower edge of the tepee can be lifted up and plenty of ventilation may be had. The radius used for the tepee shown on the opposite page is 10 feet. The smoke flaps extend 12 inches. Indian and tepee at Ft. Belknap Reservation; Plains. Photograph courtesy of

upper teeth and haliotis shell, moveable jaw; Kwakiutl. Photograph courtesy of Milwaukee Public Museum. TANNING The tanning method described on the following pages has been tried and found to work very well. When no wood ashes are available for removing the hair, slaked lime may be used. This can be bought in 50-pound paper bags. Use one pound for every gallon of water and mix enough to cover the hides. Leave the hides in this solution until the hair is easily removed. It may take from a few

these belts are almost always made of coin silver. Coin silver, however, besides being rather expensive for the beginner, is also quite difficult to work and solder. Substitutes can be made, and of these, nickel silver is probably the best. Aluminum also may be used, and if necessary tin, which while being the least expensive material, may be so carefully made that tin concha belts will look quite good. Concha Pottery, by master potter Nampeyo; Tewa. Photograph courtesy of Milwaukee Public

too thick for vests; to make a nice vest, it should be of medium thickness. Some vests are fringed at the bottom and some down the side seams. Concha buttons can be used on the pockets and back, and small patches of beadwork help to decorate the vests. Vests of unborn calfskin are always popular. They are the easiest to make, but the skins are scarce. The one shown was made of black and white skin and was bound with thin black horsehide sewn on by machine. Full beaded vests are highly prized by

carved by members of the false-face societies among the Iroquois Indian tribes. The false-face societies were secret organizations. Membership could be achieved by dreaming about the masks, or about the society’s ceremonials. Information about the dream had to be given to the proper person; and after an initiation feast was given, membership was established. Leaving the society was just as simple. Dream about no longer being a member, report this, and give a farewell feast. The members of these

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