Life In A Conical Skin Lodge

For discussion related to the Paleolithic encampment - Building structures, materials, methods of construction, tools and other items around the camp/home.
ehailstone
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ehailstone
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March 13th, 2018, 6:41 am #41

Were still quite frozen, but it wont be a quiet breakup, there should be a ton of water with all the snow,  when the thaw hits and its gos to the rivers and bust up that ice....at least its happend like that before.

Mostly Inupiaq folks populate the area, a few ''whites'' as all other colors and races are called in common, come and go. Only a few live out their lives here, if they ended up here, somehow.
  I arrived when I was 20, to visit my mom and younger brother, and stayed. I got a job at an airline and started following my brother around. When I became a resedent of the state, the hunting really took off.
I just found things to do and places to do them whith the guys that were doing it. Around her are alot of 'Spot' type seasonal jobs..... A spat of firefighting, helping with a Reindeer herd( they are gone) , gold mining, lots of hunting and traveling. If I had gas money, there was always a boat or someone with a snowmachine to go along with. If someone has gas,Ill take them along, etc.
 It dosent cost much at all to go camping, you actually make $ if you dilligent and work. We tan our hides and make stuff for sale, and make Xtra $ doing that insted of selling raw skins cheaply.
My ride is a couple days out from being fixxed (warrenty work), so Im building a big sled in the front room to kill time. Thats why I have time to post :D

 I watch the old Alaska films and the Siberian herders and whale hunting vids, when I can, this stuff is facinating.
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Quillsnkiko
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March 13th, 2018, 7:03 am #42

I agree..Ive been watching a lot of Nenets Docs on U-Tube lately since I got thru Life below zero...If I go down to a friends house on the right night I can watch recent episodes of Life below zero there...she got a big screen TV and cable...I don't. I love anything that about doing things the older ways...or hunting etc. I was surprised to find at least 4 or 6 seasons on Netflix..7.99 a month is pretty cheap.  Helmericks have a old film on U Tube I discovered about 2 weeks ago.

Building a big sled in the Living room....you got one of the girls to clean up before Agnes gets back?? LOL!~! hahaha!~!  I softened some braintan in the kitchen once..I had fluff all over the place... Never again.I have to clean up after myself.

I think we got thru raising waters down here real good this year...although there was ice and water flow on the Maquoketa river near me here because of ice dams that washed the mail truck off the road. I didn't get mail for 3 days and when it came it had all been in the water so was quite interesting to say the least. The guy was lucky to escape with his life as the trucks cab was completely submerged. I think most of the snow north of here is gone. Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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Quillsnkiko
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March 15th, 2018, 4:58 am #43

ehailstone wrote: The tents are the same, our, the girls, the ''extra'' that Im sure is soon occupied.
 I cut and peeled the black spruce, 15 poles for frame, and 1 for the outside, the ladys sewed the liners and covers.We have a hoop to tie in place, but sometimes we use a square frame to keep things up in the heat.

 The tent frame at the Arctic Circle is moved to another camp where were building a small frame house this last summer. The camp where we had it does flood, not so much in the Spring Break up, but during big storms of south winds that bring up VERY high tides, any time of year. Its litterally where the River meets the Sea. The Inupiaq word is long and unspellable by me.LOL!
 The folks thet lived there, of my wifes mothers family, and on other river mouths here in the Kobuk Delta built 4 posted ''Towers'' to stay on in times of flood, to look out across the waters before boating on, to spot travelers and game in Winter and cache stuff up off the ground. Some are 60 feet tall with many floors 'inside'. Gives you a look over the willow lines for Rabbits, Ptarmigan and Moose, who live there, and when my wife was young, she used to spot and shoot Pike in the slough theirs was built next to, used a .22lr.....



Chip wrote...Some are 60 feet tall with many floors 'inside'.
Gosh... 60 ft tall with many floors?

How did they get it that tall. That would be something to see made with native timber. Very interesting. Quills
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ehailstone
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March 15th, 2018, 5:17 am #44

The towers are not hard To build, just 4 of the longest drift logs you can get from upriver floated to the camp your building it at, several others cut and used for cross beams and structural beam reinforcment, and then platforms built into it (poles across tha beams) with however mant different ''levels'' they  can fit into their tower. There are usually no walls, just the floors and rungs to the next level somewhere. There are no standard mesurments, its like a kid and a tree fort.
All the new ones have VHF antennas atop for better reception for the radios in camp.
 
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ehailstone
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March 15th, 2018, 5:19 am #45

maybe I should note thet te 4 longest poles are placed into shallow holes and stood upright, and then joined by beams , like a giant bar stool.....
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Quillsnkiko
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March 15th, 2018, 6:04 am #46

Yes I saw the smaller one you built out of drift wood...and I'm pretty sure you dug holes to set the poles in. I find it amazing that you can find so much usable wood to build with. Around here most stuff that floats down the river in high water is not usable for much more then firewood...or decorative wood for small wood carvings.
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Quillsnkiko
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March 15th, 2018, 6:05 am #47

Did you get that sled built...and the evidence out of the house? Quills
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Quillsnkiko
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March 17th, 2018, 12:31 am #48

Chip, if you still around and not out on the hunt again....Ive got one more question. You folks are pretty bundled up...in modern style insulated layers  pretty much like folks use down in the lower 48.

You use some furs for bedding.Have you personally used  ever any fur clothing like what Agnes's parents & grandparents would have used and if you have...how does the modern gear compare when its really cold....Just wondering.

I would imagine if fur parkas get wet they would soon be cold ..but you say usually that area is more like a dry cold desert.

Some modern hunting clothing has waterproof abilities as well. When they were out in umiaks or any watercraft they often used gut skin waterproof parkas over their  fur clothing.  Anyway any thoughts on that subject would be very interesting. Quills
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ehailstone
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March 17th, 2018, 11:18 am #49

Quillsnkiko wrote: Chip, if you still around and not out on the hunt again....Ive got one more question. You folks are pretty bundled up...in modern style insulated layers  pretty much like folks use down in the lower 48.

You use some furs for bedding.Have you personally used  ever any fur clothing like what Agnes's parents & grandparents would have used and if you have...how does the modern gear compare when its really cold....Just wondering.

I would imagine if fur parkas get wet they would soon be cold ..but you say usually that area is more like a dry cold desert.

Some modern hunting clothing has waterproof abilities as well. When they were out in umiaks or any watercraft they often used gut skin waterproof parkas over their  fur clothing.  Anyway any thoughts on that subject would be very interesting. Quills
Its -23f, almost 3 am and I just sat down to read my e-mail bfore getting sonme sleep..... :D

  Modern gear has the advantage of being easy to wash and dry, as well as shed snow (snow wont stick to alot of modern materials) but we indeed all have some great Fur parkas, hats , mittens, mukluks. Wof , Caribou, Marmot and Muskrat parkees mostly.
 One of the main items of trade back in the past was light western clothing for summer wear.
Not much different than the whites wanting winter clothing of fur.
Ice will not adhear to Wolf, Wolverine or Poar Bear, so we trin the more delicate furs with such, so they dont tear and so where th ebodys moisture exits tha clothing, te accumulated ice can be brushed off without taking hairs with it.
''However'' if its cold enough we don the parkas, then its too cold to film.
Our snowmachines have heat exchangers along the foot rails that ruin skin boots, so we use them for long walks and setting traps, quiet stalking, ect. Rubber boots with liners and insoles are our boots untill -25 or so.

Our bet is of Muskoxenn hides, sewn side by side while our sleeping bags are made from 11 Fall Caribou  each. Our floors are 4 Winter Caribou each, as well.

 The kids also like dressing warm, but also have ''baskeball'' shoes and such.


Pictures....Im not sure on the order here, but maybe its not all in oreder, but well see whan I press  'submit' LOL!
Soooo....heres an old newspaper artical about us selling tradional clothing and boots, a picture of a museum display we hunted/sew'd and a nice picture of my oldest daughter in her fawnskin parka with wolf trim, from when she was about 7 years old, and the last picture is a couple years old of the oldest and youngest trying out their Caribou parkas just after they finnished makeing them (with Wolverine trims)
 Also theres a picture of my wife mother and I think her sisterin 1936, when she was 17, in a Muskrat Parkee in a wall tent.....just before she married my wifes father as his second wife after the passing of his first.
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TinmiaqandQutan_zps557037c0.jpg
goodoldones0308.jpg
Maniilaqdisplay8.jpg
11_10_0-1.jpg
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Quillsnkiko
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March 19th, 2018, 1:32 am #50

Great pictures Chip...

as you can see we have to list the last picture first  and the first last....so they match up with the text. Not a big deal...just something to think of.

Crazy how different web sites have entirely different methods of posting pictures. If you have anymore you can post feel free when you have the time.Hopefully Tomas will forgive us for hijacking his thread. Quills

PS....I seriously doubt he will because hes interested in all the things we have been talking about...and its so great to talk with someone who has actually lived similar to the ways of those folks in the documentary's.
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ehailstone
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March 19th, 2018, 3:10 am #51

I understand now, aboutthe pictures. This whole site has changed since I was posting last.
 I want to know how to edit better, though.

I have a bazillion pictures, for sure, thats been a major part of my familys sucsess at the work we do currently ,and much of my past writings, trying our best to relate to the rest of the world.

I hope Thomas hasnt taken it that we have pirated his post, I was just trying my best to relate, with what I know and do , and I find the Original post very simular in nature to myself and family.

That makes me sorta happy, so I thank Thomas very much!
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Quillsnkiko
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March 19th, 2018, 4:18 am #52

Glad you are "sorta' happy Chip....we are happy here as well. See what I wrote above ...I edited my last post.

Your doing a great job...of educating...us more citified folks down in the lower 48 to ways very similar to those Nenets folks.

Yes, the sites changed a lot...not by our choice. Photo bucket went south and yuku jumped ship.
 We kind of got left in a interesting situation...not of our choosing.

 We are trying to make the best of it. 💩


Michael Bootz wrote....
Posts  Below





13 Mar 2018 01:44 #8
Yeah, if you upload multiple files it lists them in reverse order (the file uploaded last is on top of the list). And it doesn't even show previews so you know which picture is which, so you have to identify them by the file name ☹
It seems there's no way to change this...





Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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Tomas
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March 20th, 2018, 12:52 am #53

Hello ehailstone

Thank you for all you have shared your contributions are greatly appreciated.

All The Best

Tomas
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ehailstone
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March 20th, 2018, 11:08 am #54

Thanx, Tomas :D

 I just wanted to note a bit about the pictures above;

The picture of the mother inlaw was her new curled hair. The jacket shes wearing is of Muskrats and a zipper, good for summer clothing, as the Spring Muskrat hunt coincides with the ice breakup on the rivers, and the floods force the Muskrats to swim about aimlessly and very huntable.
 60 Skins average to make a parka.What was caught all winter and the huge ammount caught in Spring, well They make great Summer clothing, as the water mammles hairs resist falling out after repeated dampenings (summer rains, etc) and light in weight and not so insulative.
In Winter , a good layer.
Her sister (I think) has fawn white Reindeer parkee.
The tassles that hang on the parkees are for decoration and to sweep snow off the furs while being worn.

The daughter having the baloon tied is now 21, and makes her own clothing and for her son and his dad. Shes just getting the hang of it all, and starting small,  basic warm gear.
DSCN7408 (1).JPG
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ehailstone
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March 20th, 2018, 11:18 am #55

Of course, all that fur gets covered in cloth, to keep off the wind , snow and grime.

 Mukluks are used in 2 pair , worn alternating days and switched on the feets with each days use to distribute wear. Most winter muks here are ''soft bottom'' made of a Fall Bull Caribou neck skin for a sole, the legs of the bull for ''tops'', with new soles being sewn on every now and then, the tops lasting some years with good use. ''Hard bottom'' mukluks would be made from Bearded seal skin sols that are crimped. They often have a 1 inch of so side and being Seal skin , they are water proof. Just very slippery in winter, so the little kids get Soft bottoms for more grip.

 The kids and some of their cousins were playing in the snow in our yard and couple weeks back, and had one fellow I was working with ask '' how could the kids could stand all the bad walking and falling inthe snow, they must have done a hundred pushups (getting back up and playing) each in the last 1/2 hour.'' I noticed the little guys were pretty buff when they came in to dry off and warm up. LOL!!!
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Quillsnkiko
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March 21st, 2018, 12:56 am #56

Chip I'm not sure how Agnes and the girls attach the soles to mukluks but I ran across a neat video of a older Native lady sewing  what looks maybe like sealskin soles to the upper of a boot. You can see she has punched holes in the white sole that is quite thin. You can also see shes using a spatula to help crease those very fine pucker & stitches in.



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ehailstone
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March 21st, 2018, 1:39 am #57

They sew with short lengths of natural sinew, from a Caribou or Seals back, as the leg tendons tend to be course, the thin sinews of the back are quick and easy to make into thread.
With use the leather will soften and relax, being leather, and the sinew swells to fill the relaxed holes.
The Caribou soles have a ''side'' sewn on, if you look at the feet of the lady and little girls display, the sides are dyed red with alder there.
In the same display, the man also has diplitated seal ''hard bottom'' boots. Nice for wearing about, but not as water proof as Seal skins with the hair shaved and the black membrane left on rather than the hair and that laye of epidermis soaked and sloughd off.
The thicker hardbottoms will be black in color on the sole, and are quite a job to stich. The stiches go between the puker'd pleats that are crimped to lift the sides.

If you can make these boots, you can make 500$ easily. It too is a dying art.
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ehailstone
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March 21st, 2018, 2:01 am #58

One more thing;
 The upper beinng sewn to the sole is a dehaired (via shaving) seal skin. The bottom has been dehaired by soaking.

Using an awl/bodkin to put holes in thick leather is normal, as so is the creaser and knife. The needle is not for making holes, its to guide the thread through. This was especcially true of bird/squirrel bone needles way back when.
Caribou hides can be easily stitched with a moddern steel needle, but the Walrus/Bearded Seal and other thick hides (Maybe moose?) need premade holes.

At one time everything was tied together.  Tent, clothes, boats, etc.
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Quillsnkiko
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March 21st, 2018, 4:47 am #59

So who buys boots like that Chip...for 500?

Then the sole and the upper of that boots shes working on are both seal? You can tell the whiter boot sole is wet...or damp. It does not look like its very thick. Or do they thin the edges of the sole where its sewn?

I would love to see that older lady or you wife sewing furs & skins more up close and personal.Maybe in my next lifetime.    Quills
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ehailstone
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March 21st, 2018, 11:22 am #60

 Museums, 'Tourists'' and people interested in such will buy them, some use them, most just want a fine pair of hand made boots...maybe like a handmade Itialian suit for the corperate types ....

 The boot soles are thinner because the layers of dermis are gone with the hairs. The darker uppper is shaved,and most likely a very thin seal at that, like a Ring Seal skin. Oogruk soles that are shaved are very thick Male skins (preferrably) and the pleats MUCH larger than the Females kins, but then again, they may have a sole of Harbor  Seals, or another medium sized Seal.
They do not thin the edge for stength.
 When working with thin leathers it makes it easier to have dampend edges for the sinew to pass through easily and to take the creases and dry with it when the stitch is set. The dryed Soles are made by the dozens from a skin during the winter.
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