Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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theth “belt”
Language: Lower Tanana

You don’t have to kill the porcupine unless you’re going to eat it. If you just want the quills, than you can catch the porcupine while it’s walking and it just shoots its quills into a cloth. Styrofoam is also really good because the quills stick in it.

—Eliza Jones, 2004

Porcupine quills are stitched to this Tanana caribou skin strap with red and blue embroidery silk or wool. Quills for decorative work were clipped to remove the barbs and left natural in color or dyed using alder bark, berries, or coloring soaked from commercial crepe paper.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Tanana River, Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 124.5
Accession Date: 1899
Source: Edward W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E201100