The Many Uses Of Animal Hide

This exhibit contains ten items consisting of objects made from animal hides. Animal hides were used for different purposes and constructions based upon thickness, size, and the different types of fur.
Curated by Michael Creel

Begin tour »


This gallery has 10 objects

Dolls and other toys like this were made out of light deer hide. Deer hide is softer than most and can become very flexible to turn into bags and toys for children. It was also easily sown into.
View record »


Drums such as this one, were made out of an assortment of different hides. The hides were stretched and dried over wood to create a hard piece of leather, any hide would work for this. Drums were used primarily at ceremonies.
View record »


Dresses such as this one were primarily made out of elk hide. Elk hide is tougher than deer, yet more subtle than buffalo which made it perfect for light, rugged clothing. It was also soft enough to where sowing beads and elk ivory on were not a problem.
View record »


Coyote hide was not stripped of fur like other animal skins. Oftentimes the hides were left as they were killed such as this one, and where worn by natives as a hunting disguise or headdress.
View record »


Tipi’s were primarily made out of Buffalo hide due to its thick, tough, and weather resistant nature. 10-12 hides were used for one tipi, where as other hides such as deer and elk would be too small and require many more hides.
View record »


Head dresses were mostly made out of feathers and were worn by leaders or people who are in a respected role. Just like the feather head dress, these were mostly used for ceremonial purposes.
View record »


Beaver fur was not very common among natives. White trappers and settlers were more interested in it, yet the fur they did have was made into warm moccasins like these.
View record »


It is a common and recurring trend to find that most of the things natives built was made out of buffalo hide. This is another perfect example of the many uses of one animal, in this case it's used as a horse blanket.
View record »


Small baby carriers like this, being toys or actual carriers were made out of light and soft hide to keep babies protected and warm.
View record »


Winter counts are drawn on hides just like this buffalo. They symbolize key events drawn in small images to represent the highlight of each year.
View record »


Questions and Comments