Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Scalping a Yeti and Using the Fur to Make Ropes

Ogata san showed us how to do this a few years back. 94 years old and knows how to dress a downed primate. This woman is tough. None of us had the confidence to pull it off by ourselves so I've been waiting for the chance to give it another go. These tropical dudes look out of place in the winter here with snow on their fronds. They have migrated north from the Japanese tropics with birds over time.
 They look scrappy but a novelty that most houses in the area have one on their land somewhere.  There was one looking out of place above the pond when it was dug a few months back. Who likes to cut down a distant relative that wasn't particularly doing anything obnoxious except looking scruffy and out of place? (I know the feeling actually and felt some sympathy for the poor thing stuck in a place it really shouldn't be.) Fate seems to have dumped it there. It took root and there it was making the best out of life. I couldn't do it myself so I had a friend to take it down. 

The old guy next door saw me trying to skin it with a regular sickle. He brought over this special Yeti skinner he had in the back of his barn. The woven matted fur was traditionally used to make good quality cord for garden work. It took a few hours to cut off the stuff and it was difficult to convince anyone it was a pile of palm tree bark when it obvious it was a  pile of Sasquatch/Yeti scalps.

It doesn't take much to imagine that humans first got the idea to weave something by looking at the naturally occurring weave. 

After the yeti has been scalped it is necessary to untangle the mottle of unbroken fibers that were closest to his head. 

With some twisting and rubbing it is possible to groom the fur to look like this:

Then things got blurry when Ogata san just went wild on the thing ripping it and tearing it into strips like a veteran Yeti skinner gone mad.

Here is Ogata san in her slow motion glory, almost purring like a cat, as she manhandled that Yeti fur into a rope that she will use to to go out and trap another of these unsuspecting silent men in the forests of Japan. She won't take us hunting with her. Perhaps it is her secret of how she manages the stalk and the actual kill or perhaps she uses some magic that isn't fit for our mortal eyes.

Look at her expression...all in a days work!


  1. Can this be the same lady who made the delicate shibori pieces that you showed us? How many talents Ogata San has, can we call these survival skills?

  2. onesmallstitch30 May 2012 at 02:01

    Ogata-san looks like she is ready for a round-up, what an amazing lady. the clematis is beautiful.

  3. Wow look at her, go Ogata-san, you are awesome!

  4. I truly hope somebody is making a thorough record of all Ogata-san's skills and ways...

  5. Good thing she calls you a friend.

  6. i love her amazing hands.

  7. yes the hands and their movements. plus the don't dare come near me buster expression:)
    the clematis!!

  8. How did she acquire scalps of such an elusive creature?