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MSU offers summer course on making buckskin and parfleche

MSU News Service

BOZEMAN — A course from the Montana State University Department of Native American Studies will teach students to process animal hides using a traditional Northern Plains method to produce buckskin leather and a traditional decorated parfleche container.

The class, called “Indigenous Northern Plains Hide Technologies: Making Buckskin and Parfleche,” meets each Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 3-6 p.m. from June 16 to Aug. 1. Students will need to provide their own tanning tools, hides, and painting and decorating supplies. The instructor, Jim Del Duca, will assist in procurement of these items. By the end of the course, each student will have accumulated a full set of tanning tools and parfleche-making supplies.

In addition to learning the hands-on processes, students will learn about historical examples of indigenous-produced buckskin, rawhide and parfleche, along with their roles in Plains culture, past and present. The course offers three undergraduate credits in Native American studies – see the website for tuition and fees.

Del Duca received his bachelor’s degree in human services from MSU-Billings, his master’s degree in Native American studies from MSU-Bozeman and is currently a doctoral student in American Studies at MSU. He has also been an instructor at Little Big Horn College. Del Duca is a researcher of Native American buckskin and parfleche technology, and his art projects have been displayed in Montana and Wyoming galleries.

To register, the MSU Extended University website, where the course is listed under “Native American Studies.” The course offers three undergraduate credits in Native American studies.

For more information contact Janine Hansen with MSU Extended University at (406) 994-5240 or

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