TENDONS

 

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.

 

OTHER PARTS

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).