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Hidework, Jeff Scott, Nez Perce Tribe

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Jeffrey Scott: My given name is Jeffrey Scott. My tribal name is qoh'qóh 'cimúux tulúuniin, which translates to raven playing in the soot of fire. When I first did hides, I was helping my grandmother Maggie Máqsmaqs Greene. She was a medicine woman and she tanned hides. I was in fourth grade at that time. And when the other kids would play, I seen my grandmother scraping a hide on a board. And I asked her if I could help her. And I really didn't know I was tanning a hide and making these things. I just was helping my grandmother. Today, our water is different than the water that I used with my grandmother. And they put fluoride and there's iron and minerals in this water that is not in spring water. We wouldn't use water from the house. And so this day, in my life this is what I do. I go outside and I use a bucket like my grandmother did, and I use spring water and I get water from the creek.

Jeffrey Scott: This is a whitetail. A whitetail is thicker. It will last longer, but it's heavier. I have a mule deer hide here. A mule deer hide is more thin, but a mule deer hide is uniform. This, the skin has been taken off. The hair and the skin is gone on this buck skin. On this piece of hide, just the hair has been taken off. The skin has been left on, so it stays hard. It won't ever be soft like this, unless you put brain on it. Another part of our buckskin and our culture, and what we do is ceremonial, but it's also social. But these things here, this is what we were when we war dance. This is elk hide. This is my daughter's beadwork. And this is my hide work. Two generations, one family, right here is maintaining the things of our people. This bag belonged to piináwíinunmy and my great-great-grandmother. And when I opened it up, I pulled this out. This is the oldest scraper of hides. This is what my great-great-grandmother used. And then I pulled out these. She used stone. She used stone to tan hides. These tan hides.

Jeffrey Scott: And for this bag, I'm very thankful that it survived. That I could hold it and know that my grandmothers live on through me. All of these things that we're talking about here, even the Spalding-Allen Collection, these things need to come to us because they are ours. All through this thing, I have shown you the things that I have done, and I have always said it is good. When they took the Spalding-Allen Collection, they said it was bad. And it took money to get it returned to us. Money is bad, not these things.

Jeffrey Scott: Even the Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil, not money itself. The love of money. Our people knew this before the Bible was brought here. We knew that money was evil.

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Duration:
4 minutes, 59 seconds

Jeff Scott discusses hidework techniques.

Last updated: June 22, 2021