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I read a few months ago an article about the indians and fur.


The French and their fur trade. The french were buying the furs from the indians. The indians use to wear the fur on their skin, before selling them, so that the fur was in a better condition. (sorry for my english, even me I dont understand myself!)

But anyway, what i mean is that the indian use to wear the fur directly on their skin. They didn't understand why the europeans wear the fur not on the skin, since it was the contact with the fur that kept them warm!


Plus, by wearing the fur directly on the skin, it make it more shiny!


Does anyone understand what I'm desperatly trying to say? Does it make sense?



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An interesting addition to the topic that most here will probably know. The Inuit and Eskimo use a layer of fur with the fur toward the skin and one with the fur out in the cold winter. It has long proven to be best to keep in the heat of the body.


It will be interesting to see what info Touch has on this topic.



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Since most of my furs I wear are of the fur lining variety I understand and agree wholeheartedly


Actually Touch has quite a bit to say about this topic in his History of Furs if I could ever find it













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Firstly it is an error to call them Indians I guess. The name most prefer is First Nations. It depends on what the fur is used for....much of it is ceremonial and status related; spiritual too. Naturally with more Northern Indians functionality comes into it; but we should remember that the way they work the furs and tool and embroider them one should be in no doubt they are not purely functional.

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Incorrect ToS.


I should have said Native Americans if you wish to pick a point in the US or by their individual Tribe such as Muckleshoot, Blackfoot or Puyallup.


That would be equivallent to your Welch County as a name.


Would you find that satisfactory for your strict standards















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Ooh you know how to wind a guy up OFF, don't you!!


Wales is most definately a country (even if, at present a country subjugated by past brutalities) As is Scotland (possibly about to get it's independence shortly), Northern Ireland (undeniably part of Ireland), And who knows even Cornwall may one day be independent!.


And before anyone picks up on that.- I know, I know, Brutal subjugation is the "normal" way that most countries have been created,


Since the French fur trade was with the Canadian indegenous people, they were technically trading with First Nations.


From Wiki -

The use of the word Native-Americans is not common in Canada, as "Native-Americans" refers to the Natives peoples of the United States specificially.


And not a nazi or buddhist amongst them Tryx


What I want to know is - Why dont the animals wear their skin with the fur inside!!

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good point ravens. would keep the animals warmer and safer. cause the hunter would have to look twice if it was a animal worth shooting!

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Yeah, and he wouldn't know untill he had skinned it - could be a bit wastefull on animals.


Maybe that's why they wear the fur on the outside. Natures way of combating waste!


To answer the original question. Fur is undeniably warmer when worn against the skin, so when staying warm is the goal, eg as practical clothing it makes sense. Also in these situations. Fur on the outside would get wet and lose some of it's insulating properties (unable to trap warm air). With the fur on the inside, the leather woul get wet but dry quicker. and the fur would still be trapping warm air against the body.


As a fashionable thing though, you are looking at the effect it has on others as well, and making you feel different by noticing the effect you have on others. The other senses therefore come into play as well, especially touch and vision. It makes sense to wear the fur on the outside therefore where it can be touched and seen.


Even worn on the outside, fur is still incredibly insulating and warm, but has the added attraction of being a focus of attention.

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I believe there is a layer of fat that is used for warmth. I read that Otter is the only animal that relies solely on its fur a warmth layer, with no body fat. Not positive that is true.


Fur also protects the animal. There must be a good article out there in Google land somewhere on this.


As for the word "Indian" being used. Give the guy a break. He is doing an incredible job communicating in English. I couldn't begin to do the same in French!! Bottom line we read his post and understood what he was explaining. Good job, furslave. Interesting thread.



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That is precisely why I didn't make too big a deal of it Linda....nevertheless it is something that should be pointed out as it is a term considered colonial and even offensive by some. Others don't mind.


I communicate regularly OFF with Cherokee, Cree, Kiowa, Inuit, Navajo, Dene, Pottowatomie and Lakota Sioux. They all refer to themselves as First Nations rather than Native American....it appears to have become a more widespread term in the last two years or so though TECHNICALLY yes First Nations refers to Canadian aboriginals who are not Metis or Inuit (who see themselves as distinct cultures). Significant also that most First Nations are pro British monarchy to the embarrassment of Canadian Republicans; Prince Charles is particularly revered for his pro Hunting yet environmental stance incidentally.

The term Native Americans is something that is reserved for the United States. If we are talking about fur being worn on the inside we are most definitely talking First Nations that is Canadian Indians; you will rarely hear them refer to themselves as native American. I have never seen a US fur artfact with fur on the inside; though I suppose its conceivable. The exception is buckskin shirts lined with horsehair; something incidentally that the British cavalry twill covert coat can also have in the lining. I have several artfcts including Cree riding gloves with fur on inside rather than outside, and had an Inuit item with both.

I think that the aboriginals like the term first Nations as the implication is that they were there first. Maybe us Welsh should call ourselves the same as in modern human times we were in the UK first too lol!


Off....Alaskan aboriginal people....as they are tribally connected with Canadian Nations how do they see it? Native American or First Nations?


Cornwall has a strong claim to independence but their flag is the flag of St Pirran ; the basis of the jolly roger and its past association with smuggling and its current rural radicalism and pro Hunting has meant the UK government ignores their entirely valid claims. Both Wales and Cornwall (West Wales) were technically unconquered by the Saxons and the vast majority of people have no saxon blood. In Wales you will find Celtic and Norman DNA but no Saxon to speak of.


Anyway the main point we are missing here is that often, as hunting cultures are seen as being "functional" that we miss the point that decor nd spirituality and ceremonial use of fur is often underestimated: like for example on the warbonnet. There are also many similarities between Evenk and Siberian tribes and Canadian aboriginals re this.

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About a year ago I attended a demonstration of making a fur parka in the Athabascan style (if style is the proper term for something so scientifically worked out. No less than 7 different furs were used in a single garment. Including seperate furs to line the hood, surround the face, line the body, close the area between the wrists and the gloves, form the outside, make the trim, line the sleeves, and so on. All this usage was keyed to each furs natural warmth, resistance to wear, resistance to water, softness to the skin, and of course beauty.


I guess when you live by the artic circle you try harder.



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I think its time for me to intervine.


First of all thank you to Linda for noticing the fact that I didn't express myself in my language.


Second, I purposely use the term Indians, thinking you would understand more about what I was talking.


Third, in Qu

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Fifth, the term Native American is not a canadian term. Because, here in Canada, we are american as well!!! American as in "North american".




Furslave you have started a wonderful thread, thank you! Be patient with us.



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Indeed. I wasn't rying to make a big deal of it....I know that the French contains no racism in their use of the term anyway. Only an American or I am ashamed to say British using the term Indian to describe American aboriginals could ever be deemed to be racist. The French and to a lesser extent the British, have a slightly ...but only slightly better relationship with First Nations/Native Americans than the early US did. Nevertheless we both still hold unbroken treaties with the Cree, Poccowaotamie and Iroquois nations...and significant here for us they ALL are about furs. And we must hang our heads in shame too as we KNEW things we did were wrong in many parts of the world (we must be careful not to analyse history with modern eyes). What gets me is we (Britain) are still doing them...Afghanistan is still a heroin war fought on behalf of pharmacuticals. Bush may not know that...but Blair does. There will be no peave unless we buy the heroin crop...hell that was what we made Afghanistan do; fought Russia over etc.

Isn't it also strange we as a society condemn fur and tobacco....native Americans trade strength.


But on the other hand at least what we all did to the indigenous peoples is now starting to be recognised.

For those who have forgotten Soldier Blue (depicted Sand Creek) or think it was 70s violent exploitation movie:


Posted today in a Native forum:


If you haven't seen this, I thought it might be of

interest. It is wonderful to see that the area will

now be remembered and protected as part of our

history. I have strong feelings about this event as my

birthfather was Blackfeet/Arapaho.


Here is a link to the article:

http://www.rockymou ntainnews. com/drmn/ local/article/ 0,1299,DRMN_ 15_5507806, 00.html


I just returned home from a 21 day fire assignment,

so trying to get caught up on emails. LOL!


Take care,


Marcy Oregon



Sand Creek to be dedicated as historic site


By Deborah Frazier, Rocky Mountain News

April 27, 2007



This story should have explained that James Druck owns a company that manages two casinos on the Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe reservations in Oklahoma. The tribes own the casinos, not Druck.


A remote southeastern Colorado streambed where a day of horror still echoes will be dedicated Saturday as the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.


On Nov. 29, 1864, more than 700 U.S. Army troops attacked a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho who were sleeping under a U.S. flag on the stream's sandy banks.


By day's end, about 150 were killed - mostly women and children - and the volunteer militia had mutilated the corpses for "trophies" that were later paraded on Denver's streets.


"The site will provoke thoughts about the larger issues of humanity and what happens when fear of our cultural differences provokes violence," said Alexa Roberts, the site's superintendent.


Gov. Bill Ritter will gather with descendants of the massacre victims, leaders of the Northern and Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes and former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who worked for years to create the site.


Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., who completed Campbell's efforts in Congress, will also attend with Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Ken Salazar, D-Colo.


Roberts said more than 300 people were expected for the dedication, held at a monument to the victims about a mile from the massacre site.


On the dedication day, rangers will take visitors on a half- mile path to an area on the ridge that looks down on the creek bed, said Roberts.


Roberts said the site along the streambed, where "witness trees" dating back to the massacre still stand, won't be open until facilities can be built and staffed with rangers to protect the area.


That 1,465-acre portion of the 12,488-acre massacre site was purchased for $1.5 million by James Druck, a Colorado casino owner, from a rancher.


Druck owns two casinos on the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations in Oklahoma and bought the land as a gift to the tribes.


The land, held by the tribes as a trust, is managed by the National Park Service along with about 1,000 more acres that have been purchased.


The ceremonies Saturday start at 10 a.m. Events will close about 12:30 p.m. with a prayer and a spiritual healing run by American Indian youths to Eads for a barbecue at the county fairgrounds.


"The event will honor the cooperative efforts of so many partners over so long a time to make sure the lessons of the Sand Creek Massacre are never forgotten," Roberts said.


How to get to site of massacre


• Distance: About 180 miles from Denver.


• Getting there: Take Interstate 70 east to Limon. East of Limon, take U.S. 287 southeast to Kit Carson, turn south to follow U.S. 287 to Eads, and turn left (east) on Colorado 96. Go past Chivington to County Road 54 and make a left, heading north to the intersection of County Road W. Turn right. Follow the signs to the dedication ceremony.


• Note: The actual massacre site isn't open to the public yet, but it is visible from the ridge where the dedication will be held. Guests are asked to bring a folding chair, appropriate clothing, footwear and water.





And the descendants of some of those people that contributed to the policy that led to that massacre have the nerve to criticise native hunting rights and use of fur.


There is only on place I want to see in the US and it's Sand Creek. And don't get me wrong; the blame for this did and still does lie with the WHOLE of the western world. We are the destroyers; all of us.

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I have no problem with the term, "American Indian," as long as it's not used in a derogatory way.


If one knows what nation an individual comes from, it would be more polite to call him or her "Cherokee" or "Lenape" or "Hopi", etc. But, as a general term that means, "Those people who lived in America before the Europeans came", the name, "Indian," is not necessarily a bad word.


That'd be like saying that people who live in Pennsylvania shouldn't be called "Americans". We're part of the United States. What's wrong with the name, "American?"


Neither should we shy away from the name, "American Indian."

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no quite I agree. I am also in touch with a lady whose brother and husbnd have fought for the US in three campaigns and are proud of their allegiance to the flag. I am also ashamed to say that she has had shit down the net from British schoolchildren for designing with furs.


Its the tone that the way words are used that is the problem; not th words. Correct worker; and again I apologise for those that think I was making a deal of it...I wasn't. But I have just been for an "Indian" and eat it almost every day; and many of my best friends are Indian (Bangladeshi !) so we are obliged as a colonial connection with India to mention it that is all. Indian in the UK doesn't mean native Americans. In France it does....not a problem. So if a Brit says Indian to mean Native American/First Nations he is using it in an ignorant way....not necessarily racist though acknowledged.

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btw Denefurclouds (the Dene are a Cree related nation with excellent conservation record who also have hunting outfitters and hunting and eco vacations) are now on Flickr:




They invented knitted furs and please support them if you get the chance.


My whole point that I keep ranting over that I think many may miss is that the West is committed to a range war over traitional animal use of land...the UK Labout party admit and are proud of it. To me I see it as a continuation; a modern manifestation of moral imperialism locked in battle ith animal dependant economies whether they be aboriginal, gaucho, or cattle/sheep farmer. The same people stand against the Inuit as stand against the welsh hill farmer and the gaucho....and of course against the designer/wearer of furs.

They are still clearing the buffalo to make way for the railroad and are still using the excuse of our savagery to anmals to get away with it.

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Your absolutly right. When I see my friends that are Huron or Abenakis or else, its only but normal to call them by that name. But when your talking about them, thats when its diferent.


Linda and White:

sorry if my intrusion sounded a bit impatient. It wasn't. I was just trying to answer a few questions in a clear way.


Back to the real question:

I never put my furs in a fur salon, I keep them here with me. I wear them, most of the time, fur inside out. I sweat in them (like the "am

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I've been thinking hard over a comment Linda and several others have made awhile back about my Fur Lined coats and why I didn't have Fur out coats?


The more I've thought about it and contemplated what I want for my next coat I keep coming back to a Fur Lined one. I like the contrast of an outer coat of leather or like my new dark green Carhart canvas coat with the near black Mink lining.


These are fully designed for everyday wear though I do have a few strictly for wearing around the house, vests mostly. I hardly ever turn my heat on anymore or not very high.


Anyway, back to coats for daily wear, it's a matter of shear comfort and warmth though the beauty is a consideration I design them to be very attractive and the fur is not at all hidden. That was the point at first for my own psychological comfort but that passed quickly and now I'm working on the display aspect while still retaining the Fur Lined idea. Several new ones are more successful along these lines. I have a new camera and I'll put some pictures up soon.


Now that I've done 7 (8 incl. CADD girl's), I've begun considering more of the detail aspects of the individual design from the wear and handling aspects much as the Native designers made their design decisions. I'm considering each as having it's own 'function' or purpose. some more strictly utilitarian and some more for 'dress' or show while still warm.


My Bobcat Lined Buckskin has ironically become a favorite more for shear comfort and flexibility than I had originally considered. It is extremely comfortable.


Seeing many of the commercial and Fashion Furriers designs I've become very critical of their surprising lack of functional details.


I look at Carhart's general offerings and they have the obvious totally functional requirements and the Mink lining seemed so totally appropriate. It doesn't interfear with any of it's strictly functional aspects. In fact the guys on the job sites do a double take when they realize the lining is NOT black synthetic plush and not in a negative way at all. Like "Why didn't I think of that?" The ultimate compliment to any designer.


Many of the guys here are very much into the Peacock aspect of wearing furs and not that I don't share a certain level of that now but I've begun to take more seriously the purely functional aspects as many Native Designs do. It's a very interesting and rewarding excercise.



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Native use of furs is not purely functional though OFF; though of course that has an element.

Look at the tooling of those Cree gloves, or the tooling of the actual fur of the Khanty cap in he gallery.

Natives are the ULTIMATE peacocks!!! What do you think warbonnets are about?

Originally, very feather was a coup....an enemy touched in battle.

Often their are eye pieces to exaggerate the size of the eyes, or paint is worn on the face to do the same. Furs adorn the sides of the face. You could never describe such a thing, totally animal derived as it is from several animals, as functional. Inuit too have incredible tooling, designs and mixtures of furs that are not pure function. I had one Inuit parka with the most incredible designs.

But yes onbiously the parka was incredibly functional too.


And yes thanks furslave for bringing up this topic.


Interesting about the "moisturising effects" you describe Furslave.


I have just recently come across a fur from the 80s. It has been in cold storage fo 12 of the last twenty years...the lady selling it showed me the history of it with copiouus recepits of storage. Neverthless it was brittle in places. A lovely coat, but it needed a lot of work.

Howver my girlfriend has a coat from the early seventies never been in cold storage but the pelts are truly supple.

So I am not a great believer in cold storage. Besides which my girlfriend wears her furs throughout the summer in the evenings; and I remember that women in the seventies did too. So I think even just wearing and movement, and as you say maybe absorbtion of body moisture, may have a good effect.


I think the WORST thing for furs is if they get wet drying them in arteficial hat. I have seen furs collapse afte just put near a radiator. I warned a friend not to do it and her fur was wrecked overnight.

If you get a fur wet what is incredible is if you give it a good shake.....it performs as a wet animal would and dries quickly.



Back to OFF's point about functionality (not that I am saying that isn't important) I find myself thinking back to to the timeline in the Wiki and the first culture that designed furs into clothing; possibly therby saving humanity from oblivion.

But interesting this is also the FIRST society we know of that was hierarchical and conceptualised that in the clothing and animal artefacts.

So the functionality was NOT the reason these more sophisticated items were developed. If it wre just to keep warm, that does not require a high level of concept. Man would have done it before. The driving force to make such items was therefore probably to "create" something of aesthetic value too, and denote status, and therefore also award the animal high accolade, through it.

The Cree gloves I have are incredible. Now when riding in cold temperatures, the wrists lose a lot of body heat. Motorcycle gloves are gauntlet shaped, as were gloves from the middle ages on. But in both there is usually an element of decor.....whether its fringes or tooling on the leather, or embroidery on native models.

Gloves in modern society however have lost the wrist insulation, and the warmth providd by inner and outer fur (windbreaker). I would argue that is because when we live in arteficial heated environments gauntlets cease to be functional (handling money etc is difficult). However working in the countryside, I would NEVER be without the Cree gloves now; yes incredibly functional...but also very beautiful. Most peoples reactions however is that they are "peacock" in nature!

The truth is they are from a culture that values functionality, aesthetic, and respect for the material: the animal.

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I don't dispute nor reject your point about the decorative aspects but it is, for the most part, mostly decorative for the majority of Native Furs.


Head Dresses and the like are obviously purely Ceremonial.


My point is the lack of functionallity in western mainstream furs and their lack of detail to that functionallity.


The native artisans combined their artistic skills with the decorative where they became one and the same. This is true design at its best. This is more what I'm talking about.


I think haut designers are really missing the boat at not taking this combination more seriously as they go for 100% sizzle and not much in the way of substance, hence they don't last very long as a style.


It's been the more functional haut designs that have lasted and we still praise since it's both beauty and function. Form and function.



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