Montana State University

MSU offers summer course on making buckskin and parfleche

May 8, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

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

The class, “Indigenous Northern Plains Hide Technologies: Making Buckskin and Parfleche,” meets each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. from June 4 to Aug. 2.

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.

Del Duca received his master's degree in Native American Studies from MSU and his bachelor's degree in human services from MSU-Billings. 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.

For more information or to register, visit or call (406) 994-6683. The course is listed under “Native American Studies.”

Contact: Janine Hansen, MSU Extended University, (406) 994-5240,