Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Skinning a Beaver

On Monday my aunt was skinning a beaver that was caught by her son-in-law in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region recently. The beaver weighs about 15-20 pounds. Since this beaver was small, it took about an hour and a half to take the skin apart. While cutting the skin apart from the meat, you must cut the skin carefully so there's no holes left on the skin. Unlike an oily seal skin, it is not necessary to soak the beaver skin before you hang and dry it. The beaver skin is generally dried and then tanned. There are several uses for beaver fur including a hat, a malaggaiyaq, slippers and a parka. Depending on the person's experience, it could take a few hours to skin a beaver. Most people in my home town area choose to save the beaver fur. In this picture, the beaver fur is a little darker. In the fall, the color of the beaver changes and it has a reddish color. Some people choose to cook the meat. I don't know any families that eat beaver's meat in Kongiganak.