Tendons are tough fibrous tissues that connect the
muscles to the bones. They can be broken up into fibers to be used as
thread for sewing, or as bow-strings.
Sinew is the fibrous tissue which runs next to
the spine and down the legs of four footed animals. Buffalo, elk or
deer sinew was commonly used by the Native Americans. Removed at the
time of butchering, it is dried and worked by beating and pounding to
loosen the fibers. When sinew thread was needed, a strand was removed
from the bundle. It was customarily held in the mouth in order to
soften. An inch or two at the end was usually left unmoistened in
order to provide a stiff needle-like end. This fiber is strong and
long lasting. Sinew was used not only for sewing, but also to attach
quillwork and beading and to strengthen the backs of bows.
The hooves and
dew claws (a small claw
that does nto reach the ground and found on the feet of certain
mammals) were used as
containers, rattles, spoons, or wind chimes.
The hooves can
also be boiled down and made into glue.
The fat was used
for cosmetics, hair grease, soap, and tallow. Tallow
is the hard fat obtained from parts of the bodies of cattle, sheep,
or horses, and used in foodstuffs or to make candles, leather
dressing, soap, and lubricants (grease).