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A Claw Necklace

I finally cleaned up the claws from the black bear that I shot this fall. After 10 years of applying for a license, I finally got one. With the help of my good friend Sam, I hunted in Vilas County, WI and was able to take a 204 pound sow with my fusil de chasse, a reproduction French hunting gun from around 1730 (smoothbored flintlock). There were larger bears in the area, but most of them had turned nocturnal, and after sitting for 14 hours and seeing only this one (and only having 3 days to hunt), I decided this was my chance.

For the necklace, I used a style that was common to the Ojibwe and Dakota (Norman Feder labelled it a Type 2). Many of these used trade cloth for the “accordian” but a couple examples used leather or fur. I chose to use otter fur. On the flesh side of the hide, I painted it red with ochre (I also painted the claw knuckle with ochre). The fur is edge-beaded and the necklace also utilizes some glass cobalt beads.

Overall, I am very pleased. This style of necklace seems to shows off the size of the claws nicely (the largest fronts were almost 3″ along the curve), and it looks pretty sweet when worn


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