Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)

Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)'s image
Created: 2016-03-09 15:57
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: With livestock breeding being their main economic activity, the Kalmyks always had enough raw material at hand to undertake leatherwork. Traditionally, pelts were processed either in summer or autumn when the livestock was slaughtered. The technology of pelt-processing differed for various livestock depending on their size. The pelt of large animals was processed as follows. At first the pelt was cleaned of impurities, such as fat layers, and dried in the open air. Then it was left in salty liquid with sour whey for several days. After that, the skin was cleaned again, dried, and softened manually or by beating it with a stick. By contrast, the pelt of small animals such as sheep was first salted and then smeared several times with a mix of brine and whey. Once dried, the skin was cleaned and softened by using a knife-shaped wooden instrument. Finally, the skin was smeared with a special home-made powder. In the past, no part of an animal skin was left unused. For example, the belly and leg parts of large livestock, including horses, cows, and camels, were used for the production of belts, stirrups, whips, as well as various bags and large containers such as for keeping or transporting liquid. The head skin was usually used for the production of bortkha, a traditional container to keep milk vodka or water. The skin of small livestock, by contrast, was used mainly to sew clothing such as winter coats, hats, gloves, or used as a bedspread.
 

Media items

This collection contains 13 media items.

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Media items

Aleksandr Koshevoi, Bortkha

   8 views

Aleksandr says that usually it takes up to a month and a half for him to produce a single bortkha, which is a vessel to keep alcohol or milk products such as liquid yoghurt. In...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 9 Mar 2016


Alexei Naranov, About Leatherwork and Crafts

   15 views

Alexei talks about manual pelt processing, the use of leather in clothing, as well as about blacksmiths and saddles.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 7 Aug 2017


Khongor Dzhavinov, Crafts: Leatherwork and Smithery

   2 views

Khongor talks about his skills. He can make boots, keys, and do iron work and carpentry.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 21 Aug 2018


Konstantin Naktanov, About Leather and How Kalmyks Slaughter Sheep

   17 views

A short interview with Konstantin about processing pelt and killing sheep.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 14 Jun 2016


Polina Fedorova, About Leather and Its Uses

   25 views

Polina explains how people processed sheep’s skin and what items were made from different kinds of leather.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (LEATHERWORK)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 1 Jun 2016