Today I spent some time with my friend Rosemary and two of her girls! We went to church together, and then had lunch at her house. I’m always amazed at how fast children grow, part of me I guess in denial about my own aging. No matter what I do to stop it I am faced with the reality that kids DO grow up… and Joyce and Arlene are no exception to that rule… and have grown tons in the last 18months! (Especially since the day I baked cookies with them… you can read about that HERE.)
After lunch Rosemary asked me if I’d like to have some exercise. I said, “Sure, are we going for a walk…?” and she said, “Nope, wait and see…” Joyce went to get our shoes… and then Rosemary grabbed a sheet and put it on the floor and pulled out some seal skins she is preparing for kamik making. (Kamiks are seal skin boots…) Here is a picture of Rosemary’s Kamiks… the one on the Left is made from Seal and the one on the right is made from Caribou. Her Grandma made them for her. They are GORGEOUS!!
There are many steps in preparing skins…Rosemary told me that first you have to scrape all the blubber and fat off… then stretch the skins and dry them.. Then you have to work the skins so that they become more flexible and less stiff…that’s when the workout began…Rosemary asked me to step on the skin, turning it under my feet… in doing so it was making the skin less stiff, and ready for the next step in the process.
Disclaimer: (I am no expert in the process of preparing seal skins. Within my descriptions… I might be missing or have mixed up steps. I’m just telling you the story of MY experience!)
Arlene…is such a cutie…and loves to ‘ham’ it up for the camera! But also is a great seal skin stomper too…
Once and awhile, you need to stop your ‘stomping’ and then shake out the skins… and put them back down so you can begin the process again! (I’m not sure why my face looks so upset in the photo on the right–this was really fun…but also started a good ‘sweat’ happening!)
Rosemary…checked out her two furs to see if they were ready for the next step… she had started the ‘stomping’ earlier on in the week. They were done! So she unstitched them and set them aside for the next step, which I think is to wash them–then the skins have to go through a few more steps.. I think they have to be stretched/scraped more and something else! You can see the difference in the way Rosemary’s bundle looks on the left, and the bundle I was working with on the right—Thanks for sharing with me how to prepare skins, I can’t wait to learn more! It was a great ‘workout’ and wonderful visit… we will have to do this again soon!!