This is a traditionally brain-tanned and smoked elk hide.
This skin was tanned and smoked using a traditional brain-tanning process using real veal brains by a European man in Canada who was accepted into the Lakota Tribe. Very few people are making true brain-tanned hides any more. It is NOT being offered as Native made.
This is a whole hide with some small holes, blemishes, and scratches on the leather. It has a smoky smell and is supple.
Many cheaper "brain tan" hides are on the market using German tanning with fish oil, liquid smoke, and dyes. What we have in this listing is the real thing!!!
Please see photos for 12" by 12" grid lines for measuring. The secondary grid lines are 3" by 3".
A USFWS export permit is required for all shipments outside the U.S.
The smoked deer, elk, and moose hides have a strong smell of wood smoke. This is considered to be a desirable trait by many customers, but can be overwhelming for people living in a small house or apartment. The smoke leaves creosote behind that binds with the fibers in the hide. This keeps the hide soft and flexible when wet and helps to preserve the hide, making this leather ideal for gloves and moccasins. The smoke will dissipate with time and use, but it can take years for most of the smell to leave.
It is possible to remove much of the smoke smell by placing the hide in a tub and washing it with soap and water. The hide then needs to be tacked out on a piece of plywood so it does not wrinkle when drying. We do not offer this service for customers, so please consider undertaking this project before buying these hides if you are worried about the smell of smoke being too strong.
If you like the color and want hides that have had much of the smoke smell removed, please let us know and we can offer this on a custom-order basis. It can take weeks to months to get specially prepared hides by the man who does the tanning.
Should you be unhappy with your purchase, please let us know as soon as possible. You can return the hide in its original condition for credit. You pay shipping and insurance both ways. We do not accept the return of hides that have been cut, treated, altered, processed, or damaged after shipment to you.