When I was young my mom did handicrafts to put food on the table. She knew people wouldn’t buy things what weren’t of good quality so she always made sure her work was done really well. When I was about 10 years old I was going to school in Fort Providence and a lady showed us how to do moose hair tufting. After we finished our own tuftings, we all ran down to the mission and the nuns bought them from us for five dollars each. We were rich for one day! Ever since, I have loved making arts and crafts.
I like tufting caribou hair because it is fuller and it stands out more since it is softer. But it is also fine and falls all over the place so you need to know how to handle it. You need little bowls of water to keep it wet. Moose hair is not like that. It is longer and courser, but sewing with it is hard so have to keep it wet too. If it dries it won’t stand up right.
I don’t do as much tufting anymore, but I make moccasins and do a lot of sewing and beading. I learned all these things from my mother. If you listen to what elders tell you it works out good. Once I have an idea in my head I start working on it, but it takes me a while to get it together. Even when it’s done, it stays with me like a learning thing where you always start over and try again. I find that life is like that.