Learning by Replication

I study the technology of prehistory.  Because of this, I believe strongly in the benefits of experiential archaeology.  It gives perspective on a very deep level.  We can walk in the shoes of our ancestors, so to speak.  I say experiential here not experimental and I'm glad to hear this word coming into the dialog … Continue reading Learning by Replication

Yucca Fiber Skirt

A great yucca fiber project. Check this out and more good stuff on UncommonCate.

UncommonCate

Yucca fiber processing is an ancient art. I first became interested in yucca fiber in my time at The Clovis Site (an important archaeological site on the high plains of New Mexico). People have used yucca for ages past in every form. From raw leaves, to finely spun yucca yarn, the leaves have been used in every form. The book Treading in the Past: Sandals of the Anasazi showcases many excellent examples of yucca fiber in all forms as used in sandals. Yucca is also used for cordage, bags, nets, and really anything fiber related.

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I start by chopping down a yucca plant. I happen to have access to narrow leaf yucca. All I use is an ax. The difficulty with yucca is the pointed tips, so I begin by gathering the leaves up, holding them up with one hand, leaving the base of the plant exposed. With the other…

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Yucca Fiber Skirt

Summer before last, the girl decided to branch out from just turning our yuccas into cordage.  After being inspired to make natural clothes by constructing a cattail hat, she decided to make a yucca skirt roughly modeled on the elderberry skirt example in Paul Campbell's  book Survival Skills of Native California. The completed skirt.  The … Continue reading Yucca Fiber Skirt

Yucca Sandals

Some new yucca fiber sandals.  One narrow leaf yucca, after processing, will easily yield one large pair of sandals and straps.  Ethnographically and archaeologically, we know this type was worn in northern Mexico, the American southwest, and California.  After wearing these and the plaited style, I think the loose fiber provides more padding for rough … Continue reading Yucca Sandals