Rocky Mountain Braintan

Buffalo Hides

Green hides are gathered throughout Montana and Wyoming . Only frozen or fresh hides are accepted. Hides are cleaned on the hair side. After cleaning the hair, each hide is fleshed and thinned with an elk horn scraper, also called a wahintke. Once thinned, the hide receives several brain applications. When ready, the hide is then softened by repeatedly pulling it across an abrading surface until it is dry, soft and supple. Using this tanning method, some holes are hard to avoid. Most holes are sewn using both whip and running stitches. Hides can then be smoked using either Cottonwood or Douglas fir.


Brain-tanned buckskin hides are first de-haired using both wet scrape and dry scrape methods. Hides are then brained and softened. Softening is done both by hand and with a softening tool while the hide is laced into a frame.

​Hair-on hides and buckskin are available both smoked and unsmoked.


Tanning Method